Time Off, Christmas, & Why I Spent The Big Day Alone (Kind Of)

Cor, it feels nice to be writing again. 

It’s been just over a week since I last sat down at my desk and opened Pages, ready to run with whatever thought had set its roots the deepest during my usual web-binge for inspiration. My fantastic, talented, and generous boss (*cough*me*cough*) earmarked Wednesday 20th Dec to Wednesday 3rd January as strictly off-duty time, meaning there was no obligation to upload any Instagram pictures, no guilt as the three-blog-post-per-week promise went to shit, and strictly, under no circumstances, replying to those that can’t seem to understand an Out Of Office message. As such, work has ground to a halt whilst I’ve enjoyed Christmas and sleeping until 11am and two baths a day just because.

I’m a lazy person, and I have no shame in admitting that once I get past that first, off-kilter awkwardness of ‘okay, so what do I do with my time now?’, I can comfortably sink into relaxation and stew, unmoving, so long as the house stays relatively tidy and I’m able to escape for a coffee every now and then. I’m a homebody, and I’ll be honest, I’m enjoying this time off almost as much as Cheryl enjoyed a box of berry red hair dye circa 2010. 

Although, with that being said, here I am, sitting down, writing, and making niche references to celebrity hairstyles that I may or may not have tried to replicate in my messy teen bedroom (note: ‘tried’). After a week or so of recycling Instagram shots and gazing wistfully at my stacks of unloved knits, I suggested to Keiran that we pop into town for a few bits and pieces, with the ulterior motive quite clearly centring around dusting off the old camera again and finally getting back into the creative swing of things. It wasn’t raining, my hair was not *entirely* greasy, and I was sporting a new pair of Mango ivory jeans which Keir wasted no time in condemning (“I don’t like white jeans” was his only abrupt comment) - it was the perfect cocktail of opportunity and motivation. 

Truth is, all that relaxing does not lead to a particularly adventurous girl when it comes to content. I’m currently sporting my chunkiest loungewear jumper (it’s this, FYI, and it is THE BEST thing ever - pricey, but I can’t rave about it enough if you love being warm and cosy at home), some old Brandy Melville tracksuit bottoms, a definitely-not-for-Instagram half bun and a pair of Highland Cow slippers that my Mum bought me for Christmas. I’m so chilled out I’m horizontal. Whatever proverbial bees there were in my bonnet pre-Christmas break have buzzed right off, to be replaced with thoughts of genuine hope and excitement for 2018. 

 

Jumper - H&M

Jeans - Mango

Shoes - ASOS

Bag - Gucci

Sunglasses - Ray-Ban

SHOP THE LOOK

I’d say I live my life in a constant state of 28% pissed off, and it helps me to write with purpose and make good, forward-thinking decisions. Those pissed-off reserves have been all but depleted, however, so for now, I’m afraid you’ll have to join me in a few more rambling, explorative posts whilst I simply enjoy the process of writing and reading, without necessarily having a central point which I'm looking to drive through.

One thing I did want to share with you is how I spent my Christmas. 

I’m a Scrooge. I don’t like Christmas. As much as I now sound like my grandparents and everybody who begrudges festive songs being played in November (yep, still me), I do think the whole affair has become too commercial. Christmas starts in October and ends before the 25th, because before you’ve even had time to consider which B&M gift set you’re going to regift to your distant aunt next year, the sales have already started and your plummeted into the abyss that is the post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s Eve break. I can sum up how I see Christmas quite succintly: it’s people spending money they don’t have, on presents they don’t need, for people they don’t particularly like. It’s people feeling obliged to spend hard-earned (and often particularly limited) cash for fear of seeming rude if they don’t. In my eyes, a lot of it is a load of bollocks.

Despite being a Scrooge, and I do accept that there is some good in the festive season. Everybody is kinder, the food is better and there’s way, ~ way ~ more prosecco. This year, however, I wanted out of the family dinner. Our family is small so the day itself has never been a huge affair, and about four or five years ago we started opting for a pub lunch as opposed to a busy, at-home affair. As my brother and I have gotten older, however, and the charm of Christmas has worn off, it's become more and more of a chore. Christmas morning goes faster than my browser to a Zara sale, and I’d found that I spent most of the AM in a mad rush to have a nice breakfast, open presents, drink some champers and get ready in time for lunch. It’s always been a bit frantic, only then to be followed by the dreaded 4pm lull and wait for game time. 

This year, I decided to opt out. It’s been a busy year, and I wanted everything to culminate in one big fuck-off rest. I notified the fam that I would be staying home this year, and surprisingly, it went down okay. After my brother, my Mum is the youngest member of the group, so I think they all collectively understand that, as we’re getting older, how we want to spend Christmas Day is going to differ. That probably explains why my brother then followed suit and decided to turn my solo Christmas into a duo affair, but actually, it was really lovely. Keir, Joe and I went to the pub for a couple of hours and played card games outside despite the sporadic gusts of wind proving unhelpful, and then Keir headed off to join his family whilst Joe and I cooked, drank, and watched crappy TV.

We later joined my grandparents at their house because Christmas isn’t Christmas without them, but the whole low-key affair was refreshingly enjoyable. Arguably my best Christmas Day yet, in fact. There was no rushing, no raging, no wincing as generations clashed over ‘political correctness gone mad’ (I know your family has that too) - it was a day of meandering, and doing things as and when. And although, admittedly, I am jealous of other’s raucous and numerous festive gatherings, this year I made Christmas Day my own and I don’t regret a second of it.

I hope you all had a lovely day and if you’re still enjoying a break from work, don’t forget that if you don’t make the most of your lay-ins now, you’ll hate yourself come 9am next week. Sleep in - it’s basically charitable. Until next time lovelies x


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