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23 Dec 2016

The guilt of Christmas present

Hello festive friends! Today I have something a little different to offer you. This is an article I originally featured in this months' Romantic Gal Society newsletter, but writing it really moved me, so I
 wanted to share with you! We're so close to Christmas, yet I love to imagine it spanning a whole season instead of one day. I hope that this will give you a lil taste as to what you might find in the newsletter.

I often think that articles like these are written for the author themselves, an attempt to unravel their thoughts and examine their feelings. Why are we celebrating when there is so much wrong in the world? 2016 has been a rough year with so many political changes, so much uncertainty. The recent famines in Africa, the suffering in Syria, the events in Berlin, the unthinkable struggles we hear about. These can make us feel guilty about celebrating and question the occasion of Christmas altogether.

My grandma thinks it has become an overindulgent and unnecessary affair - but I disagree. The festivities aren't just about one day of gifts and overindulging before returning to normal, it is a season where we can reflect, think of others, practise kindness and bless our worst enemies. It brings us together and encourages us to be the best humans we can be. I like to think we feel this way for a reason, our soul longing to give and help others. If you're feeling super festive that is truly awesome - but I wanted to reassure you that if you find it difficult to embrace the festivities, you are normal and not alone. 

Here are some small things that help me lots at this time of year.

 Donate what you can to your favourite charities and even pass on your old possessions to a charity shop! I believe that nothing differentiates us from the heroes and heroines in our stories, whom we admire so greatly. We can all be a hero in small ways: this Christmas, be the Disney princess/Marvel superhero you know you secretly are, deliver baskets of gingerbread to neighbours, help stray animals in your neighbourhood and give the gift of love, go the extra mile to make others feel amazing.

 Send a million Christmas cards/New Years wishes - to everyone you know! It can be via post or electronically, any way you choose. Seek to reach out and connect with everyone you hold dear - or maybe even your worst enemies!

 Create your own traditions. Discard any that don't hold any meaning for you! I love to make a little dish of festive offerings for the holidays, filled with sprigs of pine or mistletoe, candles, crystals, shells, little souvenirs, spice sachets, cinnamon sticks and sweets like candy canes. Another tradition could be...

 Lighting candles in thought of those less fortunate - there are so many people in the world, take a moment to bless each soul, to wish your enemies happiness and hope that they find a way to benefit humanity - for not only others' sakes, but for their own. Sometimes, when you cannot do anything else but think, hope and dream, it can help in the strongest of ways.

 Support lots of small businesses - buy handmade baubles from a market stall, commission your portrait from a digital artist, follow twenty new people on instagram because you admire them and it will make their eyes light up to see you there, buy from blog sales, gift your family and friends homemade sticker packs or use them to decorate your Christmas cards.

♡ Make a new penpal - or meet new people across the world using Interpals to see how they live and learn more about the world and the people in it. Human interaction is one of the loveliest things and awareness is one of the most beneficial.

♡ Make your words count and make yourself heard - sign petitions that mean something to you, have your say, while listening to others! Keep organisations that you love alive, tell them how much you appreciate them, give them a donation or if you have a blog/social media account utilise it to spread awareness! Learn about what you are truly passionate about and give yourself to it.

♡ Make a shoebox to send to someone less fortunate - craft a flower garland to make them smile, write a caring message, make jewellery, send a short story you wrote or make a sparkly paperchain. 

♡ Take a moment to be mindful. On Christmas day, savour every mouthful of food, drink in every moment of laughter or go up and smell the tinsel - what is it that makes tinsel smell so lovely and festive? I just want to bottle it haha - find pockets of happiness in the smallest of things, snuggle under a blanket and take a moment to bless the world and wish them every happiness. I love to think of Christmastime hundreds of years ago and what might have gone on! I try to recreate some old traditions in my own living room. If you enjoyed this article you would indeed make my Christmas (and whole year!) by signing up to the Romantic Gal Society newsletter - go here!

P.S If you struggle with your mood or feel unwell on a regular basis, do talk to someone about it - I'm available anytime (icecreamclarablog@gmail.com) or you can confide in someone you trust or a good GP. There is always help out there, always someone to listen and you need never face anything alone!

11 comments:

  1. Such true words Elizabeth and so beautifully written! I think anything that spreads a little joy in the world is probably a good thing, Christmas included :)
    Hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas! ♥

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    1. Ahhh that means a lot, thank you so much Jess, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! :D I hope you're having a wonderful time too! ♡

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  2. great post!
    I was quite slack this Christmas as compared to last year with donations and cards
    I need to make sure to get that going again next year
    Merry Christmas!!!
    xx
    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Thanks so much, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! :D ♡

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  3. Such a beautifully written post xx

    Renee | Life After Lux

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    1. Thank you so much Renee, that means a lot! ♡

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  4. These are all such good tips, thank you for sharing! I'm going to have to do some of these now for sure ❤️
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

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    1. Thank you so much Amy, I'm so glad it was helpful! :D ♡

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  5. You have such a wonderful tone and I love reading posts like this from you. Fantastic suggestions!

    PS. I included your blog in my most recent post - The Blogs I've Most Loved Reading In 2016 - http://fourcatsplusus.co.uk/the-blogs-ive-loved-reading-in-2016

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    1. Awww thank you so much Amy, so kind of you! I'm so happy you liked it and thank you a million for featuring me! :D ♡

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  6. A lovely post! Thanks for sharing <3

    www.upyourvlog.com

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