Christmas has been and gone, and now I’m sitting back at my laptop at the end of Boxing Day feeling bloated, slightly woozy and exasperated. Of course it was a pleasant Christmas spent with close family, and I can’t complain with the numerous presents I received (though I didn’t ask for much!)
With the festive distraction now fading into another memory, my thoughts return to the year ahead – and I cannot believe I have so little time left until my degree is over!
This is my final Christmas as an undergraduate, and in many ways the final year in life as I’ve always known it. In a lot of respects, 2013 has been a year of final family memories for me. As relatives get older and I make steps forward in my own life, I find myself feeling more excited about my own independent life, and a little sad to let the old traditions go.
No matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to rekindle the magic effect Christmas can have as a child. That’s not to say I don’t try! I’m sure we all have Christmas traditions we like to stick to.
Mine include a Christmas Eve cycle with an old school pal, plus the many other things which make Christmas come alive – decorating the tree, advent calendars, making a Christmas cake, opening stockings and setting fire to the Christmas pudding. This year I also baked gingerbread and attempted to make mulled wine with my girlfriend!
What I’ve realised is that tradition is great, up to a point. It’s great when it gives you a warm feeling inside. Yet sometimes I hide behind tradition and routines. Perhaps in doing so, some of the festive spirit of spontaneity is lost. Breaking a tradition can often create more memories than it would if the same thing was repeated year after year.
I say this not to bring anyone down or to suggest that I had a bad time, but simply because I’m finally recognising that by next year I will have left university and be on my own path. I’m very excited, but also very nervous. The thought of losing familiar routines, created over 22 years of existence, is a daunting prospect. The one thing I’ve always attempted to do is to keep to traditions, and yet I now realise that a change once in a while is never a bad thing.
Perhaps next Christmas will be exactly the same as this year’s – I wouldn’t complain if it is. But if things are different, then I must remind myself that a change is generally good.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!
May 2014 be a great year! Change is coming, whether I like it or not.