Love it or hate it, Christmas is here.
Going back thousands of years, Christmas has always been a celebration in the UK even if it’s not in a way that we recognise. Christmas the way we know it wasn’t really a thing until the Victorian period but similar festivities can be traced all the way back to the Neolithic age.
While there is a focus on the typical Christian connections and the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, I think Christmas has become a celebration of love. Not in the same way as Valentine’s Day but more love in terms of humanity.
The message from Love Actually might spring to mind when I say that but it’s true. At Christmas, love actually is all around. You see it everywhere. Cosy nights in with hot chocolate, cosy films and good company, or cosy nights out with mulled wine (or cider), beautiful lights and good company again. Families going to Christmas markets. Friends screaming on rides. Couples kissing under mistletoe. The time of year where you need to enjoy the beauty this time of year offers us.
The traditions and food obviously also play a massive part. The genius that is a pig in a blanket. The beauty that is panto days out. There are always enough leftovers to last a week after the feast that is Christmas dinner as well.
I have to say that stockings are my favourite though. In my family, we always joke that “Santa’s been, Santa’s been!” and then we all pile in one bed and begin to empty the giant sock. Filled with ridiculous novelty bits of tat and small meaningful gifts (always have to have a piece of fruit and a 50p as well!), stockings are like the recipient personality in a small collection of items. It’s cute, it’s intimate and it’s the feeling of Christmas love.
Christmas time isn’t always happy though. It creates reminders of the ones we’ve lost, the ones who can’t be here, and the ones we don’t have. It’s a lonely time of year. You can see everyone having the time of their life and think you’re the only one who isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s all terrible and gloomy.
For me, Christmas is a chance to take a minute, take a breather and just be. To appreciate the here and now. To just celebrate everything good and cosy in this world. To spread love to those you know and those you don’t. It isn’t about the gifts (which are great and always appreciated!), it’s about the chance for quality time.
It always feels so final. It’s a countdown. Not just to Christmas, but to the next year. You get a chance to start again. Even if you don’t want to. Even if you don’t start again till next Christmas. It’s that idea of the hope for tomorrow. That maybe everything will be okay.
Like I said, Christmas is about love. It doesn’t mean smoochy romantic love, just the love you have for your fellow person. The love that allows you to keep going, and to take the next year in your stride.
Featured Image Credit: Mark Lurgis/thethings.com