Last year, I had left work and was getting ready to head to Bournemouth, before I was pinged. My plans were delayed. Then came the sudden London lockdown. News that it would be illegal to leave London after midnight. For many people, last Christmas was traumatic, as well as lonely for those who were left alone. Many people had also taken COVID home with them, which marred the usual season festivities. I was lucky enough to share Christmas Day with my housemates, but being separated from family was a very sad affair.
This year, I was lucky enough to travel to Bournemouth. I promised my mother I would watch the finale of Strictly Come Dancing with her. A programme that has connected us for years, and I think has been the most special on yet. Unlike last year, I am able to join her for Christmas. Just the two of us.
Christmas is a time for reflection
I would love to say this is a photo of me – I wish! I am home sitting beside a white Christmas tree, and watching The Polar Express. I am still sneaking in some work, but am going to try and relax over the Christmas weekend. As we move closer towards Christmas, I always find it a period to reflect on the year that has been. It’s been a year of many highs and lows. Yet it has ended on the biggest high so far.
Christmas presents are all bought and paid for!
Last Christmas I had just left work, so as much as I had my last pay packet, I had no idea how long this was going to have to last! I was unable to get home, so Christmas didn’t really feel like Christmas.
This year I have bought my nieces and nephews presents with my November pay packet. And, my brothers, their wives and my mother with this one. I don’t have a big family, and no little ones of my own, so once this is done, all my Christmas presents are bought and paid for!
Christmas is a time for family. You may not be able to be with them this Christmas, but it’s still a great time to call / WhatsApp / FaceTime. We may be missing loved ones too over Christmas. People we can no longer speak to. It’s ok to grieve and feel sad. I usually light a candle in memory of loved ones. This year on Christmas Eve I will light a candle to my grandparents and Tracy, who I miss dearly. I also treat Christmas as a time to indulge, then start the road to recovery from Boxing Day through to New Year!
It’s been one challenging year for many of us. Many people have caught COVID over the last couple of weeks, and it’s been another stressful year-end. People have lost their jobs, are struggling in jobs where other people are off or are poorly at home. It’s time to rest up. Give your body and mind a rest. I am writing this ahead of Christmas Day, when I am going to step away from my laptops and recharge before the start of the New Year!
Christmas is a great recovery time. We might indulge ourselves over Christmas, but it’s a perfect time to eat and drink (just not too much!). I usually use Christmas as a time for recovery. I go to bed early, even if I can’t go to sleep immediately. I drink more water and also take time to do all of the things I haven’t been able to get around to all month. For many years I would work up until Christmas Eve, buying as many presents as I could after a mid-day tipple after work, and getting on a train home. I would arrive frazzled, exhausted and sleep in on Christmas morning. Working from home has given us much more freedom to manage ourselves, and the cancellation of Christmas parties has meant that we have not indulged too much before Christmas Day.
I am one of those people who are ‘always on’. I wake up and am straight on to my social media accounts, on WhatsApp and then am straight into ‘work mode’. My blog is a love of mine, but even recently I haven’t been able to write as much as I have wanted to. It’s important to recharge. Yes we want to chat to our friends, partners and people over Christmas. However, do things that look to replenish your energy and calm your mind. I love bubble baths! I am also going to put away the laptops over Christmas and start to read two books – Catherine Morgan’s ‘It’s Not About The Money’ and also Sustainable Beauty by Justine Jenkins.