Christmas #2

blog, christmas, festive, nanowrimo

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Christmas #2

The other day, I posted a blog discussing why some people dislike the run up to Christmas…Grinch! I think I made it pretty clear that that wasn’t me! Today I am going to tell you all about why I love Christmas and everything about it!

The music. The music is wonderful! Somehow, it manages to lift my soul, hearing sleighbells, strings, choirs – the beautiful descants! Christmas songs are so uplifting, euphoric. I won’t lie, if you were a fly on the wall, you would hear Chrismas music being played all year round in my house! I love the idea of Carol Singers, although I’ve never been able to go around myself…

The decorations. I live in quite a small village, and at one end, there are two houses that face one another. Each Christmas, they seem to partake in an unspoken contest. Their houses are light up with every light and decoration imaginable! The trees in the gardens are adorned with lanterns and baubles, the chimneys host giant santas, and one of them even puts up inflatable Simpson characters! Last week, I was travelling home from work, and several houses had Christmas lights up already. Now that the nights are drawing in so early, it’s magical to see bursts of colour lighting up the streets.

Giving and receiving. Last Christmas, I had a student loan. I also had a job and lived in the Universities cheapest accomodation, and so I was able to spend more than I’ve ever spent before on gifts. People talk about the ‘gift of giving’, and I do believe that being able to present someone with a gift that I have personally picked out for them, and then seeing the happiness on their face is a really wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s also pretty nice being given presents too!

Family. As I think I mentioned in my previous Christmas post, at Christmas my parents host a party for all of my cousins, aunties and uncles to attend! I rarely get to see my relatives during the rest of the year. There are so many of them, and none of them live particularly close by. They’re busy with their lives, have jobs, are off at University. All of that is forgotten for a day when they visit. It’s lovely, although it’s probably a little stressful for my mother!

The food. With Christmas comes parties, and with parties, comes food! At Christmas, we eat foods that we don’t eat at any other point in the year! Mince pies, turkey, sprouts, mulled wine, Christmas cake…the list is never ending! Christmas is the only day of the year that it’s remotely acceptable to eat a full English, several chocolate oranges and then a massive Christmas dinner at the end of the day! I like to think that Christmas Day is also a calorie-less day too!

Midnight Mass. Christmas is the one time of year that a lot of people who don’t usually go, go to church. I love the service that the church next door puts on, and me and my dad usually get involved in leading the music side of things. This year, I have been asked to sing a solo as my contribution to the service, which is very exciting! The church itself is always decked out nicely, with candles and tinsel and holly, along with a full nativity scene at the back of the room. Despite the cold winds outside, and the lack of heating inside the villagers all turn up wrapped in scarves, hats and gloves. The community really comes together!

And of course there was a guy that a lot of people like who was born on that day – the baby Jesus!

Where Can I Find The Time??

blog, nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, reading

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I am ashamed of myself. Last Christmas my wonderful boyfriend bought me six books. They were “Bridget Jones’ Diary” by Helen Fielding, “The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul” by Deborah Rodriguez, “Grimm Tales” by Philip Pullman, “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, “Dracula” by Bram Stoker and “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have read the grand total of one. One book. “Bridget Jones’ Diary” is the only book that I have managed to complete, and that took ten months! If you read my previous post, you’ll know that when I was younger I read an awful lot of books! Every spare minute was spent reading, but for some reason I just haven’t found the time over the past year to sit down and read. I’ve started books, but just not finished them – and not for lack of interest, either!

I have several hobbies. You might already know that I am a bit of a knitting obsessive; if I am watching the telly, or a film, or if I’m skyping David I’ll have a pair of needles in hand and I will probably be working on my most recent project. So long as the pattern isn’t too complicated, I don’t even need to look at my knitting and so multi-tasking is easy!

I also love art; for Valentine’s Day, David bought me a scrapbook which is something I like to work on when I get a bit of time. I’m filling it with photos, and movie tickets, and campsite reciepts – memories of our life together. I have so far filled the scrapbook up to…Valentine’s Day! I have a bit of a way to go..!

Music is life. I love to record covers for my YouTube channel, and I will occasionally make a bit more of an effort with editing – it can sometimes take up a whole afternoon! Sometimes I’ll create simple audio recordings and upload them to my Soundcloud instead.

And now I am working on my novel – I don’t really have any control when it comes to picking a time or a place with my writing. If I feel inspired or have an idea, I just have to write it down! The other night, I was drifting off to sleep and *BAM* – I had a thought! I had to search for my glasses, and then my notebook and with the aid of my phone’s light, scribble a couple of sentences down. Then came the task of falling asleep, ideas whizzing around my brain yet knowing that I had to be up at 6 the next morning!

So where does reading fit in? My working hours are 7.30-4.00 plus overtime, and I occasionally take a book into work with me to read, but that doesn’t always work out. Do I wake up earlier and have an early morning read? Or sleep later and run the risk of being tired at work? Do I cut my Skype calls short, or spend less time knitting? I really want to complete a couple more of my Christmas books before the next batch arrive next month! I know I’ll have to make small sacrifices somewhere in my life and I’ll have to make them soon.

Do any of you have this issue? How do you counter it? I’d really love to know!