It is December, Christmas is upon us and there will be a wide mixture of emotions at this time of the year. Just think about all the people you know and all the different stories they have to tell. Some will be feeling joy at a first poignant Christmas, some will be missing those who cannot be with them this year, some will be alone and some will feel alone even though they are not. Every story is unique and it is worth keeping an open mind when the festivities are flowing all around us because not everyone will feel festive this Christmas.
At Casa Cambule, we will have a mixture of feelings this Christmas.
There will be a number of ‘firsts’ for us this year. The first Christmas in our new home means decorating a new place in seasonal garb and I would love to have a bit more “outward” facing decorations like twinkly lights in the windows. Saying that, it will also be the first ever Christmas for our two cats so caution on the decoration front may be advised…
Speaking of our fur-babies, they have recently been making waves online as their social media presence has caught quite a few eyes. I enjoy sharing their #CatAdventures but this escalated after I tweeted a photo of Pippin getting up close and personal with a lion on the TV (from the BBC programme ‘Dynasties’) that has had thousands of likes and ended up on Page 3 of the Daily Mail. This might have inflated his ego somewhat but being a cat, it’s hard to tell!
Another Christmas milestone will be my first Christmas in my new job, back in the Civil Service after a couple of years exploring other employment adventures. This is the first time I have held three different jobs in a calendar year, now that I think about it. I met some wonderful people working in cancer services during my time in the NHS but I am really excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead. Will this be a new ‘beginning’ in my career? As with any job, only time will tell.
But some things will not change. We will all descend on my mother’s for Boxing Day after our main meal on Christmas Day is spent with Mrs C’s parents. I will get socks. I will watch ‘Doctor Who’ even though it has moved from the traditional Christmas Day slot. If I get enough time, I will sit down with the laptop and continue writing, a passion I have held since I was ten years old and which still motivates me to be creative and imaginative. And despite having a holiday to look forward to in the new year, I will consume ‘some’ chocolate over the festive period!
Of course, after Christmas will come New Years and the dawn of 2019. This will bring back memories of the moment I proposed to Mrs C, at the stroke of midnight on New Years with our future ahead of us, a story waiting to be written. She has been the greatest present I could have wished for, my gift from the universe. I am certainly grateful that I finally caved into her constant nagging for a first date (if you’re reading this, sweetheart, I love you)!
I have so many things in my life to be grateful for and yet, I spend every Christmas thinking how easy it could be that I might have nothing. Being a mental health champion has taught me a lot and I am so relieved that there are strong, inspiring people in my life, the close friends and the heroes from a distance. There are many people out there with nothing or next to nothing. There are animals being treated cruelly, homeless struggling to stay alive in the cold, children wishing their parents could be with them on Christmas Day and vice versa. The world seems to be filling up with hate and uncertainty but we can still do what little we can to fill it with hope and love.
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of me and my family, for those who have given us kind words and good advice, for those who inspire us and those who we aspire to be. Thank you to everyone who has retweeted or shared or commented on one of these blogs, helping to spread my stories and share my messages. Thank you to Mrs C for completing the puzzle of my life. And remember…it is the small acts of kindness and love that can make the biggest difference.
Have a brilliant Christmas and a fantastic 2019!