It’s now December, or as my friends prefer to call it – Christmas. When I was a kid, this would be the most exciting month of the year for me. It meant not only was there presents waiting for me on the 25th, but that there was no school for a good few weeks! Truly, in my youth there was no downfall to December. That being said, anyone that knows me nowadays knows that I flat-out hate both the winter and Christmas in general. I don’t cope well with the cold or dark, and Christmas has become such a commercialised and sensationalised holiday festival that it’s now all about making the biggest savings you can, not forgetting anyone on the Christmas card list (even though this is the third year in a row that they’ve forgotten yours), and ensuring that your turkey doesn’t cost anything more than £8…
I’m not a total Scrooge though, I promise. I might not get the same satisfaction that other people find at Christmas time by spending it with their family or other loved ones, or the excitement in sharing gifts with people that you know they might appreciate a lot, but there is one silver lining to the cloud that is the winter – and that’s that warm cosy Christmas feeling that is hard to explain. It’s difficult to explain, but I can almost guarantee you know what feeling I’m talking about. When everything gets chilly and dark, but you still feel warm and cosy and in good spirits – that’s the Christmas spirit. In fact, this time of year, it’s so prevalent that the Germans coined it as ‘Das Weihnachtsgefühl’ (literally ‘that Christmas feeling’) – and we all know the Germans are excellent at Christmas things. So, how do you get this Christmas feeling? Well, as it’s pretty much the only good part of the month for me, I claim myself an absolute expert on Das Weihnachtsgefühl.
- Christmas Lights
One of the best ways to experience that Christmas feeling is to go and see the Christmas lights. They’ve been up since about October in my own home, but the best place to see them in the United Kingdom is definitely central London, namely Trafalgar Square. It’s also been a long tradition to go and see the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, which is donated to the UK every year by Norway, as a token of gratitude for services rendered in World War II. That aside though, Christmas lights are arguably one of the best things about Christmas for some people, and looking at lights is actually good for you. Light therapy is used for a number of mental health disorders, and if like me you suffer from seasonal depression, you should totally throw up some lights in your room to help you enjoy the month more.
Err, yum? In case you’re unfamiliar with the name, Lebkuchen are German cakes similar to gingerbread that are made especially for Christmas. Made with a multitude of different spices, honey, and ginger, they’re round in shape a
nd flat and, in a nutshell, taste just like Christmas. In my household, we’ve always had them at Christmas time and now it doesn’t feel right if there’s none in the house at Christmas time. They’re so good – go buy some right now.
- Coffee Shops
I know what you’re thinking. Really, Lex? For me, one of the highlights of Christmas is nipping in to Costa with a friend around Christmas time for a lovely, hot winter beverage with a close friend to catch up over Christmas, coming in from thecold and potential frost/snow and having a good chat forgetting about the world around us. Places like Starbucks and Costa always tend to deck the boughs with the best Christmas decorations too, and it’s actually so relaxing to have a tea or coffee (or chai, obviously) somewhere away from home over Christmas. Perfect.
- Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’
I can’t stand Christmas songs. They were especially ruined for me when I started working in retail years ago, and the same six songs were played on repeat. Throwback to 2013 when working in Tesco, their Christmas ad included the song ‘Forever Young’ by Rod Stewart. It was literally the only song played over the tanoy. For 9 hours. Every shift. Perhaps even worse was how overplayed Lily Allen’s cover of ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ used for the John Lewis ad, also back in 2013. Christmas songs can be great, but because they are few and far between, they can become saturated very quickly. Except for ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’. Arguably the most overplayed, I’ve never gotten tired of it even though I should have when I was like, 7. Something about it just emanates real Christmassy feelings for me through and through.
Words can’t describe how much I love decorating Christmas trees (hire me). It’s probably my gay gene shining through, but I adore tinsel, christmas tree lights, and most importantly – baubles. For me, Christmas starts when my tree goes up, and I will spend literally hours, from morning to night, perfecting the tree (it’s an art form, you probably wouldn’t understand). I particularly love baubles that are traditional in shape and size, and red and gold are my go-to colours. I’m not entirely sure why but I have a huge fascination with baubles, particularly at Christmas markets. I can end up buying packs and packs of them that never get used. I just like them, they’re pretty. 🙁
Anyway, that’s enough from me for today. What makes Christmas super special for you? What gives you that incredible Christmassy feeling? Let me know in the comments below! xo