Festive Tidings

Christmas is over for another year. All that preparation, and it’s over too fast. Well, I say it’s over, but it’s more the fact that it is behind us. Things have been hard, because the busy-ness of the festive period is usually super busy. This year, due to COVID restrictions all over the world, things are different. Everything feels like it’s at a distances. Messages over social media, FaceTime, and posting gifts through doors and mail boxes. It’s strange.

It has been hard to let people know you are thinking of them. I just haven’t known what to say to folk. It’s no secret that I have really struggled this year, and that’s not something you want to share during a period of goodwill. It has been nice, to not be working, to be at home with my family. Because, despite a lot of businesses being in lockdown, I have worked this entire year, almost normally. So, it has been nice to have a few days off to eat, drink, and fall asleep.

What have I enjoyed most over this Christmas:

*Gave some gifts to the people who matter most– The best reaction was from my nephew, when I gave him a toy that he was so surprised about. He was so excited, the box was ripped open instantly.

*Spent time with family- I am fortunate enough that I live with family, so I have been able to relax with them. I am usually so exhausted from work, that I head to my bed after dinner. So it has been nice to have my dinner with them, and do things like play games.

*Watched lots of movies– I’m bad at watching movies, again because I am usually too tired. All the movies watched were family films, the new Jumanji films, Brave, Minions, and others. I normally get bored too easily, so family movies keep me entertained most.

*Ate loads of food– I always worry about what I eat, that it’s always too much. So, it was nice to forget about it for a while, luckily I don’t have a sweet tooth, so all the sweets around the house weren’t too bad. When I get stressed, I am erratic with what I eat, so it was nice to be eating proper meals, with my family. Eating wasn’t a solitary thing, like it is when I’m working.

A Little Lost

This time of year is one where people often complain that they don’t know what day it is. This is mostly due to the festive period being a time where a lot of people are off work. It’s perfectly normal.

There is also this feeling of feeling in between two different emotions. Christmas is a time to show thanks, be grateful for what you have. And New Year is about looking forward to the future, step away from where you currently may be. Or that is how it has felt for me.

The festive period has been really difficult this year, due to a family loss. It has left me between being thankful for what I have, and wanting to move on. I am glad that there is people around, friends and family. But I also am afraid that stepping forward will lessen the memories I have. Honestly, I think every person feels like this with a loss, but Christmas just seems to exaggerate these feelings.

So, I feel like I am sitting in limbo. Time forces me forward, despite my wishes. It doesn’t matter whether I am ready, things move on. Doesn’t make things any easier though.

Merry Christmas

It’s the one day of the year, where everyone gets to spend time with their loved ones. It is maybe family, it’s maybe friends, it’s maybe even someone you haven’t met in real life. Some people just prefer to get absorbed in something they love, like a book, TV show, or computer game.

It doesn’t really matter what you do. As long as you try and benefit from that one time of the year where everything slows down. Where shops close, TV channels play limitless movies, and there seems to be food everywhere. It is nice to take time out of the everyday life, which can easily get on top of a person.

I hope that everyone reading this, has the chance to spend the festive period surrounded by love, however you find it.

T’was The Season

Christmas time is a great time of the year. It is that one time of the year, where people can spend time with their loved ones, and where thanks is given to those who support us. It is still the one period of the year, where everyone get’s some time off work. It is nice to see that a lot of non-essential businesses closed, as everyone needs a time to cool down and relax.

The only problem is, that I started planning for Christmas months in advance, usually by making lists for what I want to gift people, but I don’t actually do anything about it till the last minute. Once again, I ended up running around town on Christmas Eve, getting presents and the like. Because I know what I am getting people, it is fairly easy to get in the shops I need to, and then leave.I find it best, as that way I don’t have to deal with too bad crowds, as I am ready for home before midday.

Christmas day is classed as that one day where I eat too much, and watch rubbish on TV, and this year was no exception. When you work hard all year, it is nice to just kick back with family. And to me, that is what the period is about. Yes, presents are nice, but it’s about showing your thanks and chilling out.

You will notice, that ‘blogmas’ fell apart pretty quick, as expected. But December is the one month where time seems to just disappear. One day it was the start of the month, and it felt like it was Christmas day within a blink of an eye. Which is scary. They say that time going fast is a sign of getting older, which I am not particularly keen to think about.

But in a few days, we say goodbye to 2017, and start afresh with 2018. And I feel genuine excitement.

Happy Blogmas

Okay… I know a lot of people who film a video every day in the run up to Christmas, in something called ‘Vlogmas’. So, because I have fell off the bandwagon with writing, I decided to join this gimmicky little fad.

I am very good at starting these kind of challenges, but not too great at the delivery. And when I have attempted these kind of things previously, I have completely failed after a couple of days.

I have been busy, studying and working, alas not having a life. But I am in a good place. Which is fairly odd. I don’t really know what to say when things are going well. I feel like I have nothing to add to any conversation. But that’s not true, not really. I have said it before, but it is important to document good moments, as well as bad, so that you can focus on the better things. I have always had a habit on focusing on the bad, so maybe this can be a month of goodness.

Can always hope. But we are officially in Christmas month, and I like this time of year. Everyone seems to be a little happier, and that is nice. It’s a time to celebrate, so maybe that’s a good time to learn to recognise the good stuff life gives out.

That’s That Then

So Christmas is done for another year. Usually there is a ‘come down’ after Christmas, as that big day that we have been building towards is over. And it feels strange that I don’t feel that usual ‘come down’. 

My focus this year was on having time to chill out and spend the time with family. And it has been an unreserved success. Christmas this year, has been about spreading joy, making people laugh and generally being happy. Making others happy gives such an adrenaline rush. I feel I have not made the best of the festive season before, as I have got too worked up about the material things. Losing sleep if someone would actually like the gift I had bought them. But that doesn’t really matter. This year it was more about the giving rather than the actual gift. And that helped me relax this year. 

I spent days in work singing Christmas songs and helping to give a Christmas treat to workers (see below). And it made everything so much more enjoyable. All because it made other people smile or laugh. 

My whole experience of Christmas has been a new one this year, and it has felt like more than just one day. It has been a happy few weeks, and I have massively enjoyed it. 

I went through a phase for quite a few years where I felt Christmas was a waste of time. Just there to make more money for shops. By changing my thinking slightly, that Christmas is about the people around you, I have ended up enjoying everything more. You can buy something from Poundland, and if has the right intent behind it, the gift can be as appreciated as something costing a lot of money. And it has taken me too long to realise that. 

I hope anyone reading this had a great Christmas weekend, and enjoyed a bit of downtime with those who mean most to you. 

Last Minute Shopping 

It is hard to believe that Christmas is almost upon us already. It is Christmas Eve tomorrow, I can safely bet that a lot of people have some gifts still to buy. And heading into the shops on Christmas Eve is sometimes a bit like a death wish. I have done the bulk of my shopping on Christmas Eve for the last few years. And whilst every year I say I’ll get organised earlier, it never happens. But for those in need, I thought I’d share a few pointers to getting your Christmas shopping done on Christmas Eve. 

1. Lists are your best friend- I rely on lists a lot to get things done, but feel it is essential to getting shopping done efficiently. I usually have 2 lists. One, is full of names of the people I need to shop for, this gives me an idea of the number of gifts I still need. Second list of shops I’d like to head to. Do this by looking at your lists, and even looking online to give you ideas on where to look. 

2. Give yourself a time limit- There are times where a slow paced doddle round the shops is a great way to spend a day off, Christmas Eve is not one of those days. Your aim should be, to get in and out as soon as possible, as getting caught amongst the crowds can be very stressful.

3. Visit shops strategically- If you park your car at one end of the town, work your way from your car, buying as you go. Hit every shop in sequence, and go to the areas you need. For example, no point getting caught in the make-up aisle, if you are looking for perfume. 

4. Look for deals- the good thing about leaving shopping late, is that there are always A LOT of deals going around. Usually deals are situated in specific areas, like Boots and their 3-for-2. Or, end of range items are marked on the shelf. Scan the aisles for any ‘sales’ labelling in areas of interest. Also, if you work for a big company, check with your HR department for any corporate deals you could benifit from. They may be for meals out, which could be a good cost-effective way to treat someone you are struggling to buy for. I did this last year, and treated my friend to a meal instead of a gift.

5. Skip that sit-in Starbucks- Think of what coffee shops are like during the weekend, and multiply it by at least 3. You might think that Latte will help you complete your shopping, but 15 minutes waiting in a queue, surrounded by tired screaming kids, grumpy parents and then find there are no seats. It won’t only de-rail your shopping mission, it could put you in a foul mood. 

If you can keep to your plan, and keep focused, you can get shopping all done in a few hours. Last year, I was just over an hour getting all my presents. In fact, I had so much stuff could have done with Santa and his sleigh to give me lift home. I wish all the luck to anyone who is braving their local High Street or shopping centre tomorrow, and I hope you find the right thing for those special people in your life. 

Meaning of My Christmas

It’s the week of Christmas. That time of the year which is filled with good feelings, twinkly lights and gifts for those who mean the most to you. It is a period which has always made me happy. As a child, that may have been mostly because of presents, but that has changed as I have got older. The festive period has become more about taking time away from work, spending time with family and meeting with friends we maybe don’t see as much as we should.


The meaning of Christmas, is supposed to be focused on the Nativity. Something that I liked as a child, when I attended Sunday School. The best thing about Sunday School at Christmas, was that I got a book as a gift. I loved books, and books as presents was right up my alley. I don’t have any particular negative feelings about my experience with the Church. In fact, I did crafts every week and read stories, it was perfect for me. But, then I got a little older, and decided that I wanted to go horse riding every Sunday morning instead. And, that was the start of me finding out my own mind.

When at Sunday School, we were always told that we could pray, if we had problems. Unfortunately, the problems of the stereotypical teenager came into play, and praying didn’t help. It was this idea, that the answers would be given to us if we prayed. It isn’t really that simple, and all it did was confuse my already confused brain, more. So I tried to find another way to help ease my tensions, which involved writing things down, drawing or reading a few chapters of a book. I picked up hobbies, that really helped. And, as I started to learn and experience new things, I kind of stopped trusting in an ‘ultimate power’. Nothing bad about people who do believe, but I just couldn’t get past what I thought.

Why do I still celebrate Christmas?

Well, I still like the stories, they are stories from my childhood that still make me smile. I like the idea that a couple struggling for shelter, would get help from a complete stranger. It doesn’t really seem to happen in life, but people can be good to each other. But life has taught me, that good behaviour isn’t exclusive to a religion. I like the festive time because it is a time I get to spend with my family. It is the one time of the year, where we are allowed a little ‘down time’, and appreciate what we have. No work, just a lazy day at home with my family, where we do very little. I get to buy presents for people, and whilst it seems awful capitalist, I feel like gifts help show people I appreciate them. They are a ‘thank you’.

We do not get a lot of opportunity to shut off from the world, and it is nice to have the opportunity to do so.

Appologies as this has become more of a ramble than I intended. But a lot of people, don’t understand that people can enjoy Christmas, without being overly religious. It is my personal thoughts, and I don’t intend to offend anyone. If you celebrate a religious holiday during this festive period, I hope you have the best time. Everyone has to believe in something to get them through life. I just prefer to believe in the goodness of people. Happy Holidays.

Back To Normal

This is the day where everything has officially returned to normal. The Christmas decorations are all away, which leaves everything looking less… well, happy. Everywhere looks so alive with all the lights and tinsel, now it all just looks empty.

What do you do to fill that ’emptiness’?

Well, because I was pretty disappointed with what I achieved (or didn’t achieve) last year, I felt I’d take a new approach. Try to make my life busy, and towards some end goals. Goals that include learning to drive, being more creative and eating healthier. Which sounds pretty standard right. But, I am trying to get away from thinking of them as resolutions. Going to do wee things every day, or try to. Hopefully, if I forget one or even all my goals one day, I can focus on the next day. Do my best.

It’s going to get harder as I go back to work later this week. And that makes me lazy. My job has me on my feet all day, and because I am so tired afterwards, it is so easy to do nothing. And that’s the wee bit I need to change. Make sure that I keep active when I come home. That I do something, no matter what it is. Something other than simply vegging in front of the TV.

Let’s make 2016 the best year yet.