5 ways to really enjoy your Christmas holiday in 2021…
Things I love about Christmas:
Turkey and cranberry sauce, slightly mad Christmas lights, food, seeing my family, food, time off work, great TV specials, food and a drop of Port with good friends, oh, and, err food!
Things I hate about Christmas:
People buying stuff they don’t need or can’t afford, presents that go straight to landfill, the over-hype of “the day”, hearing of people I know being on their own at Christmas, people who say it’s just for kids, Christmas pudding!
What do you love and hate about this time of year?
Sure, there are things that I love and hate about Christmas time like most people do – but I certainly wouldn’t ban it, like some have said that they would on Martin Lewis’s classic online poll.
He says: “…20,367 voted on whether they’d cancel Christmas if given the choice. Perhaps unsurprisingly, parents of school-age kids were most festive, with 64% of those mums and dads happy to celebrate. Of the rest of voters, 55% would choose to press the cancel Christmas button if they could. Bah humbug!”
People who want to ban it may well be in the majority, but why is that?
Maybe they are reacting to the over-hyped season of shopping?
Maybe they have a different religion, like my old neighbour who was a Jehovah’s Witness?
Maybe they have bad memories of certain events at Christmas time?
Maybe it’s an expense that they just can’t afford?
Or maybe they are just a bit grumpy?!
But for most semi-Scrooge’s, maybe they don’t realise the power of a celebration. Christmas is good for us, in fact any good holiday or celebration is good for us. But we in our British culture often just don’t celebrate very much. And some make not celebrating an art form! It always makes me laugh that anti-Christmas type people still go to Christmas parties but they sit there with a “Bah humbug” hat on while there! Or as I saw the other a few years ago at a posh hotel where a works party was taking place – everyone was wearing a Christmas jumper. I never saw the party as such as it was behind closed doors but one by one people were popping to the loo looking very sheepish wearing a really embarrassing jumper at a 5 star hotel! Their faces were a picture as they mumbled under their breath “please don’t see me please don’t see me” in their rush for the loo! I think they’d had an email from the boss to wear a light-up Christmas jumper, none of them were doing it by choice.
But amazingly it can be good for you…
5 reasons Christmas is good for you
(taken from a classic article in The Mirror newspaper)
1. You sing more at Christmas.
Singing is good for us, it lifts our spirits and makes us feel part of a community. Why not get to a carol service or start a sing-song at home? A study for the annual Sing for your Heart campaign by Heart Research UK found singing is a “great aerobic exercise, giving your heart and lungs a fantastic workout”.
2. You give and receive.
Studies show that when we give and receive gifts, the brain releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. Giving also releases the “cuddle” hormone oxytocin.
3. We spend more time together.
The average family manages just 36 minutes of quality time together a day, according to recent research, yet a separate poll reveals 95% of parents believe the key to happiness lies in spending quality family time together.
4. We make family traditions that will last.
“Whether it’s buying a new tree bauble every year, leaving a mince pie out for Santa or watching It’s A Wonderful Life, family traditions unite all generations”. We always watch National Lampoons Christmas vacation as our start to Christmas!
5. Err and lastly,
“The Christmas holidays are the most popular time to conceive, according to one US study, probably due to a combination of socialising more and the long, cold days of the Yuletide period when, for many, there isn’t the distraction of work! Condom sales also double in December, showing that sexual activity in general rises. And extra sex is good news for your health. As well as giving your heart a boost and relieving stress, its great for your self-esteem and wellbeing – and even makes you look younger!”
Here’s my 5 ways to really make the most of Christmas this year:
1. Take time to stop and think, reflect on the last year, write down the positives, learn from the negatives, then throw them away.
2. Don’t buy tit-for-tat presents for the sake of it, buy presents for those you want to, maybe even make a present or two yourself, a tin of homemade mince pies is much more meaningful than a bottle of talc! Or just send a text, have a video chat or send a card to someone you’ve lost touch with.
3. Write down a gratitude list. What are you thankful for this Christmas? It’s proven to make us feel better. Maybe also write down a task list for work too, so you can forget it and relax.
4. If you are not on call in the emergency services, then switch off your phone for a while (it’s so rare to do that these days) and put an autoresponder on your email too for a while, use it as your winter break.
5. And lastly, if you are able to go to a party or get-together – be in the moment, enjoy the random conversation, games or cheesy TV, you’ll enjoy things so much more. Just go with it. Work can and should wait every now and then.
Have a great Christmas holiday, however you chose to celebrate it.