I thought long and hard about the theme for December 2019. I wanted to capture the essence and the feeling of the month: togetherness.
December is here and I can’t quite believe it! January seems like a long time ago and I guess it is… a good 11 months ago. A lot has happened at the same time as not a lot has changed. I am still working hard on creating (hopefully) inspiring plant-based recipes that you want to make, working with brands, battling the Instagram algorithm and trying desperately to improve my skills.
So, I guess it is time that we took a break on ourselves. December can become very frantic and busy with work parties, family gatherings, last-minute catch-up meals with friends and the like… we get swept up in the business of life and forget to appreciate the little things.
It has really come to my attention this year just how difficult the festive period can be for some people. I actually wrote something for myself last year after Christmas day saying that it’s OK to not feel amazing and be “super happy” around this time of year, as it really can be tough. Reading it through again really hits home and I hope I take some of my own advice… maybe I’ll share it with you or maybe I will keep it private for now. Let us be thankful for what we do have and celebrate all that we have to be grateful for.
Let us focus on our presence and not the presents.
That’s why this December, my theme for the month is togetherness. And to be grateful for everyone and everything in our lives right now. It’s a tricky time for a few reasons:
- There is so much pressure to have the best time. And it’s not always the best time, things go wrong (or not according to plan), you may wake up feeling less than sparkly…
- Not everyone has family or friends close by. Or a family that they are close to emotionally. It’s a time when people can feel alone for many reasons. You may not have a partner. You may have lost someone close to you, there are so many ways you can feel alone.
- The pressure from society to do certain things like the family get-togethers, the work parties, the meals out, but what if you don’t want to do that? What if you don’t have those invites and you’re actually quite “not busy” at this time of year? What then?
I say we focus on what we do have. So this December, share a little more. Share a smile at a stranger in the shops, share a conversation with someone at the bus stop or train station. Spend some time with family un-interrupted by phones and emails. Spend some time being fully present and focus on being together.
Maybe plan in a facetime chat with family/friends with whom you aren’t physically close to. If you know you have a neighbour with no-one around, invite them round for tea or coffee. Think about the people in your life and how you can be a bit more together with them.
While I may not physically be here for a while this month as I head to Australia for a couple of weeks with friends, I know that coming home to my family so close to Christmas will feel wonderful. Yet, I am similarly aware of the pressure for this time to be so amazing and I may actually be really tired and feel less enthused. It may not be like the ones you see in films like Love Actually. But it will be special for the time we spend together there-on-after.
I hope you have joyous plans this festive season, or perhaps you don’t. Either is fine as long as you can find little moments of joy and little pieces of togetherness throughout this month. Don’t struggle through alone, reach out to those around you.
Spread love, spread joy, spread peace.