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Love at Christmas ...

So here we are, MoNai's first blog post! Naturally, it being the season to be jolly we decided to write about Christmas, and how we create that Christmas magic. One thing for sure is that Christmas 2020 is not going to look and feel quite like any other before. We've heard some people say it won't be normal! Whatever normal looks and feels like in your home. But let's be fair, at the best of times, the holiday period can be a time of great sadness and loneliness for many. This year albeit different, making unforgettable memories sparking that magical feeling is still paramount for us. Woven tightly into our sense of self is the importance of focused time spent with our loved ones. By no means are we saying Christmas is the only time to prioritise spending time together. However, it is traditional for families to come together at Christmas. It's also the time of year when we give ourselves permission to unwind and overindulge a little.

As adults, time and care are both essential to us. Over the holiday period, it is imperative that Nai and I take a well-needed break, unplug, repair and regain our energy for the coming year. It's a time when we reflect on the hard lessons we've had to learn and to think about our future and how we might want to reshape the world around us to encourage and inspire greater fulfilment in our lives and the lives of those we encounter.

Christmas was always a wonderful experience and an expression of love growing up. I learnt how to make the simplest of household activities feel so special! It meant time shared at home with the family—a whole month of creating memories with the people I loved.

The time of year, when we all decide on the colour/theme, we want to add to our Christmas tree. Whether we have a real tree or a faux tree, though I must admit this is non-negotiable for some, but that's another blog post, for another year. We plan our Christmas menus; we practice the response we are going to give aunt patsy about the itchy jumper she's knitted that we haven't worn. Blended families feud about who is entitled to the first visit of Christmas and who deserves the second, eagerly looking forward to the presents under the tree. To collapse in front of the television for those heart-warming Christmas films while we complain about our food-induced coma.

For us, enjoyment takes many forms - writing festive cards. Working on small projects together around our home, decluttering in readiness for the new year. Baking and cooking as I did as a child, which is nostalgic and always puts me in a calm space mentally.

So, here are three of our favourite Christmas Traditions we enjoy doing together

Christmas Cards

We absolutely love handwriting our Christmas cards sharing affirming words expressed to friends and family, finished with a wax seal. My eldest sister and biggest supporter always lets me know she looks forward to receiving her Christmas card from us every year

Mulled Wine

Making and enjoying a delicious glass of mulled wine while we write our Christmas cards

We are reminded this past year about the challenges we have all faced, knowing that some of us won't be with our loved ones due to the current pandemic. I know, I really didn't want to mention that too, but this has undoubtedly reminded us to love hard and cherish the time we have

So, one of the favourite things to do is something call mince pie drop lol. This is where we make mince pies and drop them off to some of our neighbours and friends. Not that I am bragging, but I have won the office mince pie competition two years, thanks Jamie

I hope you enjoyed reading; I leave you with a piece written by Nai - Love at Christmas

Love at Christmas

Love at Christmas is a moment shared - a space where we are present with a loved one

Love at Christmas is a touch, a warm embrace, a pat of well done on the back

Love at Christmas is a warm meal, a hot drink, a blanket or clean/dry clothes

Love at Christmas is remembering a loved one that isn't here, celebrating the past in their memory

Love at Christmas is walking away from something painful, establishing self-care boundaries and finally facing your fears

Love at Christmas is resilience

Love at Christmas isn't just about gifts, it embodies feelings and actions. Offering and receiving from one person to another

Love at Christmas is valuing the people in our lives, the ones we choose to hinge ourselves to. I can confess that a beautiful gift though temporarily blissful, like a lit sparkler, eventually burns out. In its place, the need for the feeling to return, for some of us financial strain as we meet the January blues. Christmas now feeling like a distant and ever fading moment

So how do we then manage this feeling? How can we replace the action of material gifts with something more nurturing and long-lasting?

For us, Christmas is about time and care with those we love most

With Love always

Mon & Nai

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