Ah Christmas. Logs on the fire, gifts under the hastily erected polypropylene tree. Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain etc. I fucking love Christmas. I say this every year and, although I’ve probably spent more festive periods away from home than not of late, it’s still true. True to form I find myself once again about as far away from the Godwin family home as is physically possible. I swear this isn’t some sort of protest.
You do get a lot of cynicism this time of year. “Christmas decorations, it’s still bloody October!” “It’s companies getting you to buy rubbish you don’t need.” “Santa Claus = Coca Cola*!” etc etc. Bugger ’em. Christmas has always been, and remains, my favourite thing ever. Ever since I was a wee nipper I’d spend a large part of the year, and practically all of the end of summer, autumn and winter, awaiting that one morning where waking loudly at 7am and storming your parents’ bedroom brandishing a big pair of socks was not only acceptable but encouraged. Something about that day and the days leading to it made me excited like nothing else. It wasn’t the presents, as nice as they often were, nor the food or music but rather a culmination of them all: the atmosphere. Something about Christmas seemed to dispel any worries I had, magic away any fears and generally make me feel all was well with the world. The fires were warmer, the lights brighter and the smiles wider. Some of my most cherished memories stem from this feeling and even now when things aren’t perhaps quite as simple as they used to be, I can look back and feel the ripples of those times upon the rather shallow pond of my mind.
So, this is more of a check-in than a proper post. There’s only so many ways to describe casual working placements and none are even slightly interesting. Yes I’ve been at work, finally fulfilling the full potential of my working holiday visa. Truly, I am a king amongst men. I have decamped from le hostel horriblé to sublet a room in my lovely friend’s lovely house not a stone’s throw from work. Things then, have taken an air of permanency not enjoyed by yours truly for many a month. It’s nice. I can’t say my feet have stopped itching altogether but the situation as it currently stands is providing a satisfying balm to at least quell the throb temporarily.
As for Christmas well, the same friend who ever so graciously allowed me to share her living space has also invited me to spend the day with her family, something which has made me extremely happy. I was privileged last year to experience a proper Colombian family Christmas and I am incredibly happy to have the same opportunity this year in another country. Apparently it involves a lot of drinking. Cranberry juice I assume. Can you barbeque a turkey? I’m sure we’ll find out.
But yes. I hope whereever and indeed whoever you are you find yourself surrounded by, if not loved ones then people who can stomach your presence in this most festive of festive seasons. May your wine be mulled, your chestnuts roasted and your baubles hung.
Saccharine yet annoyingly nostalgic song of Christmas.
Yes it’s from an advert. Yes, people back home have probably heard it a million times and are thoroughly sick of it. No I don’t care, it’s a cracker. It’s also a fair summary of the last year of my life I suppose, a year that’s taken me from shocking, blinding highs to rather crushing lows and back again, a year that’s perhaps changed me more than any other in my life and one that’s left me in an even more confused state than when I began. For once though, I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing.
Happy Christmas everyone!