The long exciting build up to Christmas ultimately culminates in a few days which fly past at the speed of light and generally fail to meet expectations. We all put pressure on ourselves to achieve the ideal Christmas and I wonder whether this utopia is actually possible in reality? I for one have spent more than a couple of Christmas’ ill; then there have been the inevitable family disagreements, not to mention tears over inconsequential incidents. We all eat and drink too much, have this imagined pressure to enjoy ourselves and added to this explosive mix an extra ordinary amount of time spent in close proximity to all our family. No wonder January is the busiest time for people filing for divorce!
Christmas eve, I gave myself an impossibly long list of jobs; however I did mostly enjoy these final preparations. I made paper chains and some paper snowflakes; which took me right back to childhood. Mum and I used to make these together and then Mum would pin the chains up in the hall with balloons in each corner. One year she accidently put a drawing pin through a balloon and made us all jump! I embroidered initials on stockings for my niece and nephew on my partner’s side. I don’t think sewing is one of my strong points, especially when time is not on my side! I then decorated my two tiers Christmas cake before finally relaxing with my other half over a well earned bottle of fizz.
Christmas day was spent at my parents which was relaxing and enjoyable. I was lucky in the respect that Santa brought me all I asked for. My brother came over with his partner and my baby niece. It was lovely to see her little face with all the presents. I am teaching her labels young, letting her hold the small Chanel paper carrier bag which my perfume came in! Boxing Day was rather less relaxing. My partner and I had all his family over for the day. First thing I was making sausage rolls and mince pies and once people began to arrive, I found myself icing a chocolate log with an audience! Neither of us had anticipated the work involved. We played the Mr and Mrs game which was great fun although I was rather embarrassed when as game host I had to ask my future in-laws how many times they had had a bath or shower together since they had been married!! The day went off fairly well with only a few upsets but I was sure glad to have my peaceful house back afterwards.
Before you know it we are at New Years Eve. My partner and I decided not to go out this year; I resent the fact you have to pay exorbitant rates to get in places and then spend hours queuing at the bar for a drink, I know I’m getting old and boring. Plus we are back to that pressure to have a fantastic time. Instead I made a Biryani which we followed with bubbly and party poppers at midnight whilst watching the London fireworks on television. New Year has a kind of contradiction about it I always feel. In one way it is an opportunity for a fresh start and optimism but it also can be a bit depressing when you analyse the life goals you have still yet to achieve. New Year celebrations may well have their route in the Janus, the God of new beginnings, doors and gates. This God had two faces; one which looked into the past and the other in to the future.
My boyfriend and I joined in Auld Lang Syne on the television at the stroke of midnight which got me thinking as to how and when this became a tradition of New Year. The words are part of a Robert Burns poem which was then put with a traditional folk song. The tradition began in Scotland but is now used worldwide especially in English speaking countries and has been for more than a century. The song is generally thought to be suggesting that we remember old friendships which is something important to me; I always send a text to all my friends whether I see them regularly or not at New Year. This custom of mine ultimately led to my partner contacting me again after some years apart back at the start of 2009!
Now January is upon us. I always find it quite a depressing month and it appears I am not the only one being that Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year) falls in January. The scientists have even come up with a formula for it. The contributing variables are apparently the weather, debt, time since Christmas, lack of motivation and the failed New Years resolutions. That takes me on to these impossible targets we set ourselves year after year. It is thought this idea may have religious origins with the ancient Babylonians being the first to make them. It centres round looking for self improvement each year. The majority of resolutions fail but success is improved by sharing them with friends. According to an article in the Daily Mail, 9th January is the day most people give up on their resolutions. In hope of improving my success; I shall now share mine.
- Get a job (thankfully this can be ticked off already which gives me some motivation for the others)
- Lose weight (this is probably the one with the lowest likely success rate)
- Improve my appearance for work (an excuse for shopping, not that I need one)
- Stop mentioning marriage and proposals to my other half
- Stop worrying so much (hang on I am already worrying about breaking number 2, 4 and 5!)
My cure for this dismal month is simple; fill the calendar with things to look forward to! I already have two weddings to go to which gives me justification for two new outfits. I can’t wait to book a holiday so am enjoying researching places to go. In the meantime a bit of retail therapy should brighten my spirits; after all my shoe queen crown is slipping; so far in 2012 all I have purchased is one pair of shoes and they are for work so don’t really count. Perhaps resolution 6 should be to buy at least one pair of beautiful shoes each month; I’m sure I can keep that one. This pair from LK Bennett may even have to be my reward to myself for my new job!
Happy new year to all my readers and best of luck with your resolutions!