The holidays are supposed to be fun. Right? Then how come most of us are stressing out and worrying for weeks ahead of the Big Day and dreading the day itself? What happened to all the love, joy, reunions, gift giving, laughter and merriment associated with this, the biggest of all the holidays?
For me, Christmas is a reading, restful time and I like particularly to read a book that sweeps me into a complete world, somewhere else. It may be a true somewhere else, but it should be far from our own every day. That is precisely what The Queen of Four Kingdoms will do.
Further, science tells us that if we really, really want to be happy, helping another, whether with friendship, a warm coat, a shelter, a meal, or a vaccine can provide us with the greatest surge of happiness of all. So once the Yule log has turned ash, volunteer, donate to a good cause, or go outside and spread seeds to the birds...
A friend once invited me to help myself to the many books she had become the de facto owner of when she purchased the flat of a very old woman in London's trendy Holland Park. The lady had died alone, a spinster with no descendants. E
The stomach ulcer burned into each and every one of us and accumulation of diverse but all equally useless and unwanted impulse buys sparked some revolutionary thinking: what if we, like, didn't bother with presents and, like, just enjoyed hanging out together?
It breaks my heart to think that if she finds out Santa is made up then God and Jesus will go with him. I couldn't handle that because my jaded, patchy grown-up's faith is so strengthened by her perfect child-like one. At this time of year I need that more than ever; I honestly don't know how people survive Christmas without Christ.
Two wines suitable for Christmas day, chosen with easy availability in mind: both are stocked by major retailers with physical stores, now that pre-Christmas deliveries are generally unavailable.
Last year I decided to do Christmas alone in London. It felt right - like I could handle it. After three years of either being away on holiday or throwing myself into charity work for Crisis, I thought 'I can do this'. I can be in my flat, on Christmas Day, on my own, and just be.
I think it's normal to feel a bit weird at this time of year. We build up Christmas to such a fever pitch of twee imagination and rose-tinted memories that it can end up feel disappointing and miserable. Sometimes, surrounded by a barrage of Good Will to All Men and Joy to the World and Christmas Cheer, we feel lost and alone, longing for a feeling we can't find anymore.
The hustle and bustle of Christmas is here. It is one of my favourite holidays, particularly because it means there is plenty of food to eat!