I absolutely love this time of year – the sparkling lights, the Christmas carols, the minty-fresh candy-canes, the reds and the greens and just the utter joyful spirit instilled in everyone.
Yes, it’s officially the “most wonderful time of the year“. The time Michael Bublé rises from the ashes and the unlimited supplies of chocolate selection boxes.
Christmas time right through to New Years have always been my go-to happy memories. I feel like a child, free and content. My fondest memories include the panto trips to see Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, as well as walking the streets of Dublin underneath the bright lights. I walk around Grafton Street, Henry Street – you name it – looking up to the skies to see the glistening of Christmas lights.
Walking through O’Connell Street, there’s usually a show going on outside the GPO – fat Santas and unbelievably athletic gymnasts; twisting and turning up and down the GPO, hanging on loosely by a rope, as I re-call last year.
On Grafton Street – known for it’s musical echoes – solo, duos and bands spreading the Christmas cheer through music and dance. Woolly hats, chunky jackets, cups of warm happiness and a lot of shopping bags crowd those areas where buskers play. This is exactly why I love this time of year.
The way I see it, it’s a time of giving and appreciation. Most of us give in the form of presents, but also the likes of charities are certainly a lot more active this time of year. The general atmosphere is hectic with people running around like headless chicken trying to finish their last bit of shopping. But if you pause for a brief moment, you find portraits of calm and peace, moments of joy and smiles, of cheer and glee – moments of unity.
Looking around to see the crowds that gather, they’re so diverse; Muslims, Jews, Christians, people of faith and none, old, young, foreign, local, etc… Christmas time isn’t just about the presents, it’s about bringing people together irrespective of identity or differences – that’s the true spirit of Christmas.
Personally, I don’t celebrate Christmas, certainly not to the extent people do. My mother usually cooks up a feast for Christmas Day, but there’s no present exchange or seeing the wider-family, or even a Christmas Tree. Irrespective of that, our family makes a point of doing something special together and I have always been grateful for being able to celebrate such a big occasion.
For me, Christmas, right through to New Year, is a time of reflection and appreciation. It’s the one time I get to sit down and look back at the year that has gone and see how my life has panned out. With that, comes recognition for the people in my life.
This year in particular, I’ve come to really acknowledge the impact my college friends have had on me in the past year. Last Thursday, myself and a few friends exchanged our Kris Kindle presents before heading off to treat ourselves to a “Christmas Dinner”. Before then, I hadn’t had the opportunity to spend time with them without the college workload at the back of my mind, so, it was a well needed treat!
It’s not until then that I started to look around and begin to appreciate how truly lucky I have been to have come across such amazing, unique and magnificent beings. My friends are very diverse, each with their distinctive personalities and ethos, and despite our differences, we somehow all fit together like the perfect jigsaw. Looking back through the short time I had with them, I surely have made a lot of memories that I can always fall back on when the going gets tough.
In school, my English teacher always gave me positive feedback on my personal and creative essays, he even commented on one of my essays: “you write like an angel”, but I never really believed I was all that great. Since I started blogging, I’ve had nothing but positive feedback about my writing (especially from certain friends, you know who you are), and whilst I’m still somewhat doubtful, I find it easier to express myself through writing than being verbal. So, I’d like to dedicate the rest of this article to my friends (shout out to Dixon, she’s finally getting what she wanted).
I want to take some time out to string some words to describe how I feel for you. Despite becoming so close in such a short period of time, words seem to fail me and it’s hard to say this in person. Every day you show me more reasons to respect you and appreciate you. Every day, you teach me to stop taking life so seriously and to be in the moment. The moments spent with you are some of the best I have ever had. You show me that there’s a glimpse of hope in the darkest of alleys and your constant support is like a ray of sunshine lighting up my soul.
Thank you, for those passing compliments that seem so minor to you, they help keep me afloat when I feel like drowning. Thank you for boosting my self-esteem, without you, I wouldn’t have an ounce of self-belief and courage. With you guys, I feel empowered and able to take on the world.
We have such an odd way of expressing our love for each other – the crueller the joke, the more love is implied and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Somehow, you seem to know when to be “nice” and when to be bloody “ruthless” and that gives me comfort.
Thank you, for being there for me through my good days and my bad days, and thank you for dealing with my bizarre outbursts and loving me for exactly who I came to be. You play a significant part in forming the person I am today.
Some days, a simple “are you okay?” or “how are you feeling?” is the reason I can pick myself up, because I know it’s genuine when you ask it.
Your happiness is mine and I can never bare to see any of you having an off-day. I hope you know that I am always here to support you as you do me. I hope you know that I can be your chest of secrets when you need to talk, and your squishiest marshmallow when you’re in need of a hug. Even if I can’t physically be there for you, know that I’m always by your side and I will support you through everything; My support has no boundaries.
I am so glad to have met each and every one of you. It’s an honour having a bunch of people just as strange as you are if not stranger, friends you can be 100% honest with about absolutely everything and anything. You guys aren’t just friends, you are family.
I am truly and wholeheartedly sorry if I ever done you wrong, said something I shouldn’t have or just been a general pain in the buttocks. I hope you know that my behaviours do not always reflect how I feel towards you.
I’m grateful to have the mutual respect between us, the fact that we don’t always agree but we respect each and every person’s decisions and beliefs. I’m also grateful for our shared honesty in every situation. Having friends who stop you from painful regrets is something that everybody deserves but not everybody has.
We’ve surely been through a lot as individuals but most importantly as a group and I hope that I can look back at this post in years to come and still be able to say the same thing about the same people.
Finally, I’d like to wish you a happy Christmas and a wonderful new year. I wish you eternal happiness and here’s to many more years of friendships
From me, to you, with all the love I have to give 🙂
P.S I promise I’ll stop being a softie after this post, I know how “revolting” that is to all of you bigger softies 😉