I suppose the correct way to begin my first post of 2015 is to wish my readers a very happy new year!
I would also like to apologise for my lack of activity for the past couple of months, but my reasonable excuse is that my laptop packed up and I wasn’t happy with posting on my phone.
But here I am, anyway! Back to see in the New Year. Seeing as I didn’t have a laptop around the festive season, there was no opportunity to post about Christmas and all of the best things it brings with it. Therefore, this post will encompass the end of 2014 and the beginning of January.
Christmas, what a beauty.
I think it’s a great shame that Christmas is rammed down our throats from the beginning of October (sometimes, even earlier), because for me, it takes away the magic and makes me sick of the celebration before it should even have begun. Christmas cards are in the shops way too early, festive food adverts on TV are shown before most ordinary people have even considered what they’ll be having with Christmas dinner, and tree lights and decorations are sold in the shops prematurely, as well.
Despite all of this, I was excited this year at the end of November when I got my paws on my first mince pie of the season. I was also itching to find somewhere that I could visit some reindeer. I wanted to start watching Christmas films as December approached and I began placing orders for Christmas presents in mid-November.
I do really enjoy Christmas, but I confess that I unfortunately tend to find the actual day itself somewhat disappointing.
I may be the only person in the history of the world to feel this way (though I’d wager that I’m probably not), but I find that the build up to Christmas is far more exciting and fulfilling than December 25th alone.
Visiting the houses of family and friends and walking into their living room to behold a sparkling beauty with baubles and lights and glitter and a star atop its laden body, and being offered a cup of tea and a mince pie, or a gingerbread man.
Walking through a town or city and feeling as though you have entered a magical realm of lights and music, with snowflakes flashing overhead and a lit up tree at the heart of the community.
Sitting in a bustling coffee shop with rain pattering on the panes, drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream or gingerbread syrup, feasting on, yet savouring, a fat slab of yule log, jolly music twinkling in the background.
Buying and wrapping gifts for loved ones, tying large bows or curling ribbon around them and attempting to have them the prettiest presents underneath everyone’s trees.
Kissing under mistletoe and sharing a glass of warm mulled wine whilst cuddling on the sofa and watching a Christmas film with your loved one.
Yes, I love the build up to Christmas.
Christmas day itself, in my family, always consists of waking up in the morning, eating chocolate before eating anything else, having a delicious cooked breakfast and a pot of tea, opening all of the presents under the tree, having Christmas dinner as the afternoon wanes, and then spending the rest of the day nibbling out of gluttony and boredom, perhaps reading a book we’ve received or playing a game as a family, watching whatever rubbish is on TV, and sometimes (though weather dependent) going for a stroll along the seafront to walk off all of the rich food we’ve eaten.
It’s not a bad day at all- nowhere near. But considering all of the fuss that’s made of it in the weeks and months leading up to it, I find it largely anticlimactic and normally a bit of a disappointment.
I enjoy the Christmas season, the build up and the giving (and receiving- I am only human) of gifts, but Christmas day itself is normally pretty flat.
What I find most important- and what can entirely change the success of Christmas day, is the presence of people. Having family or friends over can make Christmas day what it is sold as: a wonderful day full of giving and loving and laughing and warmth in one’s heart.
For example, this year, I enjoyed Boxing Day far more than the day that preceded it- despite the fact that the majority of presents had been opened and Christmas day was over. 2014 was my niece’s first Christmas, and on the 26th, my brother, his fiancée and their baby visited and spent the day at our house. We had a second roast dinner, Christmas pudding and exchanged presents. It was like a second, mini Christmas day- but better than the 25th by far. It served to remind me that family and the people you surround yourself with are far more important than any physical item you want for Christmas, or even than Christmas dinner- however delicious it may be. So that’s lesson one.
Lesson two is much the same, but here I’m referring to New Year’s Eve. I realised this year that I would much rather spend the last minutes of one year and the turnover to the next with one special person than spend it with fifteen people, most of whom I don’t know very well. Yes, it may be a party, but that title in itself doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to trump spending an evening in with a glass of wine and a good film (such as, oh I don’t know..Back to the Future?- definitely). Due to this realisation (which isn’t really much of a realisation at all, coming from an introvert who would always choose an evening in reading with a cuppa than a night on the town with loads of ‘friends’ and strangers), next new year, I plan to spend the evening in.
Now, with regards to New Year’s resolutions. I don’t really believe in them. I think that if you’re going to have the willpower to stick to a New Year’s resolution for a whole year, you would most probably have the willpower to stick to a goal you set at any time of the year. And therefore, by default, if you don’t have that willpower, you almost certainly won’t have the willpower to stick to a New Year’s resolution for much more than, oh I don’t know, maybe a month- two, tops. So I conclude that they’re kind of pointless. If you want to set a goal, set it for yourself when it dawns on you that you want to achieve said goal, don’t wait for the start of next year or next Monday, or even tomorrow. Start striving now. That’s the ideal, anyway. But I guess it isn’t particularly human(!).
And to completely contradict pretty much that whole paragraph, I have sort of made a loose resolution for this year, but it’s mainly just due to the coincidence that I replaced my laptop on New Year’s Eve- I strive to write every day, even if it’s only a paragraph in my journal or a couple of sentences towards a blog post. It’s a reasonable feat to accomplish and I strive to do so. The same goes for reading.
Upon receiving an email from Duolingo yesterday, I have also decided to try and learn French this year. I don’t aim to speak the language fluently, I just want to try and learn a few more phrases to build on my secondary school education in the language, as I would like to visit Paris next year and I think being able to compile a sentence or understand a few words here and there will most likely come in handy.
So there you are, happy new year, and I wish you all the best of luck in fulfilling this year’s goals or dreams- or New Year’s resolutions, as it may be.
Thank you for reading! Have a browse through my other posts if you fancy, feel free to comment and you are welcome to follow The Cosy Onion if you wish; it would be greatly appreciated.
Happy New Year, once again- or should I say, Bonne Année!