December is coming to a bittersweet end and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this month a little.
I am definitely one of those people that likes to enjoy Christmas as early and as long as possible. The decorations are usually still up until the 6th January, which is the Three Kings Day.
Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I am sat here watching some movies by the tree with my two sleepy cats. It’s one of the rare years where we actually have a plan for tomorrow night! We’re going to spend the night at Galway Glamping, which I’m really looking forward to.
Meanwhile, I am looking back at the photos I took over the last few weeks and I am filled with a mixture of emotions. My mom came to visit at the start of the month and we celebrated her birthday and Saint Nicholas’ Day (Little Christmas). We baked together, listened to Christmas FM, shared a festive dinner and picked and decorated a real Christmas tree. One of the mornings, we woke up to a gorgeous frosty blanket outside, so naturally we ran out for a walk with my camera. Merlin Woods and Castle is not too far from us and it looked truly spectacular.
This year, inspired by Kenny, I revisited the tradition of sending out Christmas cards and sent out a big bunch in aid of Cystic Fybrosis Ireland. I remember one particular Friday, we went into town and I filled out the first batch, sitting in a café in a shopping centre, while listening to a live children’s choir. It was a completely unplanned little moment but it made me feel so festive and will stay in my memory. Kenny and I also filmed a Montessori nativity play, which was so cute and really got us in the mood for Christmas.
As it turns out, December was also a great month for charity shop finds from Saint Vincent de Paul. We added a beautiful solid wood cabinet to our collection, as well as a set of kitchen chairs and a beautiful doll that I found under the tree.
More so than any other year, we caught up with a lot of our friends that we haven’t seen in a very long time. In our circle of family and friends we welcomed a lot of new life into the world and Kenny became a godfather. During the Christmas Little Cinema Screening we saw a lot of special familiar faces that had traveled from all across the world. My good friend Saibh and I went to the Meyrick Hotel for our festive get-together, second year running. We talked about the good and the bad that the year has brought and drank some Irish coffee.
As usual, I had a lot of fun wrapping all the presents and as usual, I was doing them all in a rush!
I re-watched all of the Harry Potter films, which after all this time, still hold the same magic for me. It’s almost becoming an annual thing now! In the cinema, we went to see Office Christmas Party which had a good few laughs in it.
For Christmas Eve, I made my first full roast chicken with stuffing, which turned out to be a success and lasted us for so long. Many sandwiches with pickles and crisps were made! I also passed the test of making the majority of cooking and baking gluten free.
On St. Stephen’s Day, Kenny and I celebrated seven years together as a couple, which we marked by going out for a spin in Galway city, adimiring all the decorated houses.
This year we were lucky enough to take some time off over the festive period, but a lot of the years beforehand I had to work crazy hours, which I am sure a lot of you had to do also. It’s not an easy time for so many people and there is this extra pressure for everything to be perfect and feel all jolly.
I don’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional catholic sense, or in the extreme consumer sense either. But I do think that it’s a rare time of the year where a lot of us are joined in the same vibration of love and serenity. For that reason, I believe we are truly visited by something sacred.
I’ve had a really lovely Christmas and in the photos I focus on all the positive stuff. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t clouds in the sky or that I didn’t have to work hard for that bit of magic – we all do.
I think ultimately, it’s not about holding steadfast to old traditions or making sure that everything is flawless or happening at a precise moment. It’s about creating new memories, however small and random.
May your 2017 be full of those precious sparks of light!