Christmas Spirit is it just for Christmas?

Christmas is all about kindness and happiness.

We give each other gifts, visit friends and family, at the very least. Restaurants, Cafes, takeaways and even train stations through open their doors for the homeless. Businesses and individuals donate toys to hospitals, school children collect gifts in shoeboxes to send to countries around the world.

Then there are the small acts of kindness that many of us do, like visiting elderly neighbours with a mince pie and glass of what you fancy.

Doesn’t make you feel happy? All warm and fuzzy inside. Kindness has that effect. Giving and receiving make us happy.

Being kind is easy, it doesn’t have to cost much, it can even be free, but is so valuable to all those that experience it.

So why don’t we show more kindness to each other all year round? For a few days kindness is dolled out at industrial levels, but for the rest of the year, can be quite sparse in everyday life.

We do seem to be able to think ill of people, and say unkind things all too easily, normally to the people closest.

This year why don’t we resolve to have a kindness default setting. When we feel unkind or feel we have treated unfairly why don’t we put an opposite spin on it. If someone is mean they are most likely unhappy, offer your support and understanding instead of your sharp tongue. If you find that hard, hold your tongue, take a moment by yourself vent your frustration in private, then offer your support. Instead of shouting, listen then talk. And there you are, you are showing kindness. It feels good doesn’t it.

It is as easy as that, however our urge to defend ourself by attacking us strong, so kindness takes practice. Resolve to be kind at least once a day. After a year that is 365 acts of kindness at least. But then ramp that up for birthdays and Christmas we could have 500 easy. Each time you are kind tops up your happiness. After a year you could be 500 times more happy than you are now. It is a well researched fact that happiness and success are directly related.

So being kind makes you more successful at home and at work.

So don’t let Christmas Spirit just for Christmas!

How is your Christmas going?

We are midway through Christmas, so how is it going for you?

I always find this part of the holiday the most difficult, stuck between the 2 festivities. For many of us it is a time where we go back to work for a few days, before the New Year celebrations.

All in all 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th can be quite miserable if you let them. I have been known to be quite grumpy and fed-up post Christmas. Children can also be a bit fed up now all their presents are open and no doubt some of them have not lasted the rigours of Christmas.

The build up is always more enjoyable, the anticipation of time spent with friends and family, the excitement of preparing for the big day, buying presents, decorating the house, the Christmas carols, Christmas parties. It all goes towards that magical feeling that is Christmas.

Christmas Day comes and is full of excitement fun, and over eating, and for a morning of cooking and drinking. Once dinner is done, we play games, and then collapse in front of the telly. When I was younger I always felt deflated in the afternoon, thinking well that is it for another year.

Now being older and more philosophical I enjoy the moment and don’t worry about what has passed. The Christmas evening is a wonderful time for whatever you want to do. For me it was for eating, drinking and lazing about watching someone’s life unravel on Eastenders.

Boxing Day is a day for eating leftover turkey and watching City with my youngest.

The next few days is all about detoxing and catching up on some work without major distractions, before normal service resumes. It is also a time to reflect on the year gone by and celebrate how far we have come in the year and look forward to the adventures that are to come.

I hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas not matter what you were doing and are looking forward to a Happy New Year.

Don’t let Insta-Christmas get in the way of Christmas

For many of us Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But it can be incredibly stressful, trying to create that perfect Christmas experience.

We are constantly shown on social media and the TV how to celebrate the perfect Christmas including the perfect tree, decorations, food, drink and gifts just to list a few. We are bombarded with this from at least November up until the big day itself.

It is so easy to get so caught up in creating that perfect Instagram Christmas that we forget to relax and enjoy ourselves.

Trying to live up to someone else’s idea of a perfect Christmas can also make you very unhappy, making you feel inadequate and like a failure.

If other people want to have a 20 foot Norwegian Spruce with decorations handcrafted by Franciscan Monks in the 10th Century and have a hand fed turkey roasted in a wood fire oven served with Nigella’s to die for roast vegetables smothered in a fuck off expensive Gin and giblets gravy, then let them.

Remember all those wonderful Christmas Days you have had up to this point. Remember what made them so wonderful. Like lumpy gravy, warm beer, mismatched chairs, eating chocolate for breakfast and sneaking downstairs to see if he has been yet. Remember all your favourite family traditions and do them, do what works, do what fills your heart with joy and don’t worry about making it look perfect on instagram.