Christmas is a strange time of year. Perhaps I’ve just got old; perhaps I’ve been affected more by loss in my late twenties. While I love the festive spirit most of the time, I’ve also become more resilient to the commercial side of things. How things change when you realise the big guy isn’t coming down the chimney any time soon.
I’ve never really been that gal that’s got truly lost down the present rabbit hole, but this year has left me re-addressing my priorities. Cliche I know, but Christmas really is about quality time, reflection and giving back. Yes, I’d love a Gucci bag — but I’d love to have a moment more with my friends, brother, sister, partner and even pooch, much more. We tend to reflect on these things once someone has passed on. There’s no time for what ifs around here.
It’s also important to be selfish once in a while. This year I’ve spent time on myself and ensured that I have the capacity to put down my phone and live in the moment. Those quality times have brought me more joy and more creative headspace. I’ve certainly felt “eureka” moments after participating in the times that didn’t really require any consideration at all. AND, those times have even brought me so much happiness that I’ve nearly cried. Shock horror, I do have a mushy side.
A few weeks ago, I thought about the things I could do over Christmas. The real 12 days. Not as part of a marketing ploy or commercial project, but as something that might just ignite a little positivity for myself, my loved ones and maybe a few of you too. I’m secretly hoping that not many people will be reading, but if you are – MERRY. BLOOMIN.’ CHRISTMAS. I’ve listed my ideas below, but hey, rules are meant to be broken. If you want to go your own way, take a walk on the wild side and smash it. I’ll be sharing my own bits under the hashtag #12DaysofSmallJoys and you’re totally welcome to join in there too.
1. Go for a 60 minute walk with your friends or family. Leave your phone at home. Enjoy the conversation. Get lost.
2. Spend an hour taking photographs and get physical with it. Use a disposable camera or Polaroid. Don’t care what you look like. Shoot scenes. Those are a moment in time.
3. Start reading a new book and read a little bit of it every evening. Reflect. Read more. Get in the habit.
4. Get a group of friends together, go shopping and donate the food to a homeless shelter or food bank. Even better, volunteer to cook at a food bank.
5. Set up a monthly donation for a charity you want to support in 2019. Just a small amount can help to make a difference. I’ll be sharing mine on my stories.
6. Cook a meal with your partner, housemates, family or even just on your own. Take extra care in making sure it’s a new recipe and something you’ve not tried to cook before.
7. Write a list of all the amazing things that have happened to you this year. Then write another list of the places you want to see, people you want to meet and things you want to achieve.
8. Write thank you cards for ALL of the gifts you have received. Write what you love about that person. Appreciate them. Write someone that you haven’t seen in a while a letter. Give someone a compliment. Make others feel good.
9. Spend two hours learning something new. Something different. French, Sign Language, SEO. Again, put that phone away.
10. Take a bath, paint your nails, do a face mask. Do something for you.
11. Put the phone away and play board games. Make a playlist. Dance the night away.