So Christmas has come and gone and I meant to blog, but I didn’t have any time (now thinking I should have made time…). Anyhow it was good, and tiring, and funny and frustrating and awkward and filled with beautiful moments and lots of food and drink and so nice to be with family and friends!
And technically the holiday season is not over…so roll on (I am literally rolling because of my chocolate and alcohol consumption).
A while ago, when I was surrounded by wrapping and to-do lists and crap Christmas films and eating chocolates I had bought for others, I craved a more simple time.
I remembered back to a few years ago, when I started crying in Superdrug in the the town I grew up in. What a sophisticated moment of my life, a late 20 something standing there in the entrance by the ‘collection 2000′ makeup, wiping tears from my eyes. I would have left but I needed to buy a few things. So the reason for my tears, well it wasn’t too many amaretto and cokes the night before, because Christmas eve was yet to arrive.
No alas, the reason I was crying because I witnessed two eleven year old girls debating which ’99p’ fruit showergel to buy their friends, and I cried with nostalgia.
You see I grew up in a town that boasted amongst its high street stores 4 that an 11 year old could buy a gift for a friend in. They were Woolworths, Superdrug, New look and Boots. Obviously the treasures one could afford at 11 years old were limited. But I remember carefully choosing chocolates, showergels and hairbands for my friends and wrapping them up. I was crying because I missed those days…weren’t they simpler?
In reality probably not, with a background theme tune of early All Saints and Boyzone…it was pre my slightly cooler indie days (lets be honest I was never that cool)…anyway they were filled with the drama and the hormones that teenagers bring with them. But in my mind it was so easy and light.
In the days between Christmas and New Year I feel like a splodge, not just because of all I have eaten but the lethargy after all the hype-the stopping and waiting that I crave in advent, is suddenly here. And often I get into this obsessive ‘how can we make our lives so much better’ but I am trying not to do that this year.
The stuff that makes life complicated; the doubts around faith and beliefs, the struggle to be healthier in both mind and body, the never ending challenge to be more present and the awkward navigation of deep relationships with family and friends-that is life. It is not easy, but should it be?
So this Christmas has been complicated at times, but that is actually ok, more than ok in fact. And I may not be debating who to buy a fruit showergel for but the joy that I got from that I get elsewhere. (Also disclaimer my skin could never handle those showergels so I always ended up with mine collecting dust in our bathroom-I hate to think how much needless plastic and chemicals have been wasted on me over the years-sorry Earth).
Here are a few things that have brought me simple joy this past week:
-Finding the playlist Mike made for our wedding and playing it in the car
-my daughter showing off a satsuma at the front of church on Christmas day
-seeing Faith play with her cousins
-watching ‘Little women’ on BBC
-loving life with a peanut butter hot chocolate and cream…it was decadent but wonderful
-My brother reading my niece and Faith ‘the jolly Christmas postman’
-finishing 2 books!!! Finally!
-watching my dad and mum play the After 8 game
-walks around the parks of Gloucester and Roundhay in Leeds
-our coffee advent calendar
-watching Christmas movies
-catching up with young people that have gone off to Uni and now come back