I recently read an advertising slogan: ‘Have a memorable Christmas!’. While it is most important to share and make good, happy memories, I would suggest that after the past couple of years, surely we shall all be happy – and lucky – to simply be able to celebrate an ordinary Midwinter festival?
Recently, so many people have lost loved ones, or are experiencing ill-health due to Long Covid, or the effects of lock-down, or burn-out from working too long and too hard under traumatic conditions, that a bit of ‘normality – whatever that really is? – would be a genuine blessing and boon. After the isolation and loss of contact with loved ones for so many months would agree. I am also sure that the thousands of people still without electricity and water in the wake of Storm Arwen would also be heartily delighted just to have a bit of normality in their lives at present.
Of course, it is also true that times like Christmas give us the opportunity to lift ourselves out of the everyday mundane rut and splash out… go a little overboard… let our hair down and forget everything else for a while.
Just keep things simple. Focus on enjoyment and fun along with kindness and hospitality. Aim to create wonderful memories. I have seen a simple setting with a few tasteful, natural decorations and candles, good quality but simple food carefully cooked and served and activities which all ages and abilities can join in with produce the most superlatively memorable results. This is the sort of tried and tested framework on which to hang any fool-proof celebration. It is very easy to spice things up a bit and suddenly embellish something with a little luxury if that is what suddenly takes your fancy. Otherwise, start small and simple – your pocket, your brain and your emotions won’t feel so overwhelmed – and take it from there.
So, however you decide to spend your Christmas, I most sincerely wish you an extremely normal winter holiday – after all, it is a magical time, and when has magic ever been truly ‘normal’? … but you know what I mean!