Remember when Christmas was magical?
I don’t just mean selection boxes and putting up the tree, I mean nervously looking at the sky and SWEARING you just saw Santa’s sleigh. I mean giddily checking if the Man in Red had eaten the biscuits you’d left him and if Rudolph had taken a bite out of the carrot. I mean delightedly showing your parents the presents you’d gotten, because of course how would they know otherwise?
As we grow older, it becomes more of a chore to keep Christmas magical, especially if you don’t have any younger kids in your house. For most of us, December is a hugely stressful time at work or college and it becomes difficult to really get in the spirit of things until we’re finally home by the tree with a glass of mulled wine in hand.
We struggle our way through the crowds in town, getting pelted by wind/snow/lashing rain, as we rush to get last minute pressies for everyone. Will mum really like this assortment of tea towels? Yes, well, she’ll just have to won’t she.
Of course as we have more responsibility in our lives, Christmas is going to be that little bit more tiring and overwhelming. But let’s not forget what the season is all about. Sadly it might be a little too late for us to start believing in Santa again, but we can find magic in so many other ways.
Make an effort to approach things more calmly this year. Make a few arrangements with close friends rather than trying to fit everyone in for drinks and dinner in the space of three days. Get baking and crafting rather than blazing a trail through HMV buying box sets for everyone. Enjoy the Christmas music on the radio and the buzz building around the place.
If you’ve ever been away from home at Christmas you’ll know just how homesick you can get for cold weather, packed pubs and silly Secret Santa gifts. All of the little things that we tend to take for granted at this time of year are the exact things you’d miss in a heartbeat if you weren’t here.
So rather than getting all grumbly and stressed this year, take things in your stride and appreciate every little bit. Whether you’ve been celebrating for the last few weeks with nights out or whether you won’t really feel it’s Christmas until you’re on the way home on December 24th, soak it all in this year.
If you are lucky enough to have young siblings, nieces or nephews or kids of your own, take in the magic through their eyes. Get excited about Santa’s arrival. Put on your cosy PJs and drink hot chocolate with them on Christmas Eve instead of heading to the local to meet school friends you haven’t thought about in 10 years. Watch the corniest Christmas movie in your collection and jump up and down if it snows instead of worrying about how you’re going to drive in that weather.
Christmas is still full of magic, we just need to know where to find it!