A December to remember

As colleagues return to work, the first thing they do is ask one another how their December break was. My reply has generally been “great!” and I really do mean it. For a change KK and I weren’t rushing around planning for Christmas eve, we had loads of time to ourselves and each and every day we did well… pretty much nothing but lie at the pool, watch TV and veg. The perfect holiday in my mind!

I flicked through some of the photos I took during my time off and it’s a great reminder of the fun we had…

Lots of braai’ingBraai2Lying next to the pool and swimming¬†(and yes, even I swam with my head fully dunked!). This was the view most days of the sun beating down on us. I’m not as pale as I was last year. ūüėČPoolJo’burg is so quite over December, we managed to eat out at some of our favourite restaurants, including¬†the Mexican restaurant in Illovo, Peron. The food is superb!Peron eveningTalking about food, a Domino’s Pizza opened up around the corner from us so we decided to try it out. Not bad, but I don’t think we’ll be back. I much prefer Andiccio’s.Dominos pizzaChristmas came around so quickly and we celebrated with KK’s family on Christmas eve and with my family on Christmas day. But it’s our own Christmas tradition of putting up trimmings in our home which I look forward to the most. We dedicate an entire evening where we have a kickass supper and then have fun placing all our ornaments all over the house with carols playing in the background. Xmas 2014Speaking of Christmas, this year we also visited the Bryanston Organic Food Market¬†at night.¬†There were¬†carol singers and the most divine food on sale. The market is just down the road from us and I’m ashamed to say that we’ve never been before. We promised to return after a really relaxed evening out.Bryanston organic market eveningFor New Year’s eve, we slipped away to Mount Grace for a few days of pampering.¬†We entered the new year with massages,¬†food¬†and snoozes.New YearIt wasn’t all relaxing. During December, we both managed to get great training under the belt attending as many track sessions as we could. I clocked up over 120km’s of running during the month which really prepared me for the races I’ve just completed now in January. TrackKicking the year off with some wonderful memories is just such a great way to start a new¬†year!

My three tips for surviving Christmas time

It’s quite scary how just the other day I was taking photographs around my house of all the Christmas trimmings to write up a blog post. A year later and I’m doing the same thing. But I must admit, I’m a lot calmer this year. It’s as if I’ve made Christmas time my own. I’ve learned what it is to enjoy the festivities, I’ve seen how happy it makes loved ones around me and so I’ve chilled a bit.

There’s something just magical about a Christmas tree and the soft flashing lights. It warms my heart. But not everyone feels the same way. In fact, Christmas can be a very stressful time of year (for most people). So here’s my arb list of ‘Surviving Christmas’ and ensuring that you get as much out of it as you put in.

1. MAKE AN EFFORT 

It can be the simplest thing like putting up a tree or some form of decorations around the house. Change your attitude. Don’t complain when you get asked to go shopping. Don’t moan about having to visit family. Instead of whining, do the opposite and surprise yourself.

Xmas cheer

2. ACCEPT THE FACT THAT EVERYONE CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS IN THEIR OWN WAY

Every family & person will in all likelihood celebrate Christmas in very different ways & the memories from their childhoods dictates how they approach the day. Do not force your family traditions on everyone around you. Make Christmas your own and do what you must to make it special for you. Allow your loved ones to do the same.

Xmas faces

3. TAKE TIME TO APPRECIATE THE SMILES, THE LAUGHTER AND THE LOVE AROUND YOU FOR THESE FEW WEEKS

It’s such a short holiday before we hit 2014 with full force. This is the only time that we get to relax, to overeat and to have conversations over the dinner table with family. Spend an extra few seconds watching the faces of those you love when they open up gifts & be grateful for everyone in your life.

One last tip. Go to a shopping centre after work one night, go buy an ice-cream and stroll leisurely through the shops holding hands with your partner, taking in all the Christmas decorations, listening to the sounds of Christmas carols. KK and I did that last week. Best. Night. Ever. I’ll treasure that memory forever. X