Hi everyone! Today’s post is guest written by my sweet friend, Ester. Her blog is excellent and chock full of gorgeous photos, travel, and well written passages. So, do be sure to check out her page and give it some love! Please enjoy this lovely guest post and if you are interested in sharing your work on lifewithlilred, shoot me an email at: email@example.com !
A week or so ago, I was talking to my boss about sales at Christmas time and how that’s having an impact on how we exchange presents now compared to previous years. This conversation then made me think about all of the little traditions I’ve been changing and adapting every year and how I now live the Christmas period today. It is very interesting how we all try to follow the traditions because that’s what makes us human (that is, culture) but we also want to adapt them to our modern world.
I’m personally very okay with breaking the rules, I’ve been doing that my whole life. I like traditions with a twist. On the one hand, I love how comfortable and homey it feels following a ritual, but I also want to change my lifestyle for the best. Moreover, spending the Christmas holidays in other countries and being exposed to other cultures had an impact on how I now spend my time in December. So without further ado, here are the traditions that I am okay breaking this Christmas:
Ordering your Christmas dinner online:
Last year I spent hours cooking what I really wanted to be an absolute wonder of a meal. I slow-cooked the lamb and I tried my best to make a chestnut puree. It took me a whole afternoon of grocery shopping and a whole morning spent in the kitchen to go through all of that. The result, though, was a disaster. I think I put so much pressure on myself because I really wanted to somehow cook this Masterchef dinner that I screwed it all up. The meat was not tender and the puree was just uneatable. Somehow, I managed to finish it out of compassion and pity.
This year. I’m not going to repeat that experience or decide that I’ll magically become a chef in no time. That’s why my Christmas dinner will be kindly and lovingly prepared by Waitrose and Partners. I’m sure it will be much better than what I could ever cook myself. We will eat it at our place, next to the Christmas tree while drinking a good bottle of Prosecco. I’ll have the morning to relax and call all of my family and friends in Italy and I won’t be panicking in the kitchen. I, too, deserve to enjoy my Christmas morning.
Exchanging gifts after Christmas:
This is actually the topic that led me to write this post in the first place. Here in London families are now embracing a new tradition: instead of exchanging presents on Christmas day, they organise a shopping trip to the mall on Boxing Day (or the week after Christmas) to buy each other what they really want at a cheaper price. If you think about it, that’s a win-win situation: everyone will receive what they want and the cost will be heavily reduced by the sales.
I know, I agree that is very nice and special to open your presents on Christmas day but, hey, you could have one gift under the tree and the rest at the Boxing Day sales. I, myself, have decided to wait a bit longer to buy my own Christmas present this year (I always treat myself to something special) because, by waiting a week or two I can buy my gift at half price. So, why not?
If you’re in London for Christmas, try and find Harry Potter’s magic wand!
Eating way too much:
My relationship with food used to be quite complicated. I’m now fine but, if I eat too much, my stomach hurts badly. To be fair, I suppose it’s quite normal. If we eat too much, we don’t feel great at all. That’s why I always need to make sure I don’t cross that line at Christmas. I really hate feeling nauseated with stomach pain and a heavy head during the holidays. Also, I don’t want to ruin all of the hard work that I’ve been doing for the past few weeks.
This means, that I’ll do my best to go running once a week. But, I will also make sure that I won’t have three slices of Panettone in one day. I’m sure you know your limits, as well.
I’m not very good at leading an environmentally-friendly lifestyle but, after living in London for almost two years, I understand the importance and urgency to do so. Here in the city, everything is wrapped in plastic or paper. Every single lunch has some plastic in it and we all abuse the use of plastic bottles. It was a friend of mine who made me notice it and it’s very true, so I’m now trying to be more sensitive to that matter.
For this reason, I’m also considering what to do with wrapping paper. Not all wrapping paper can be recycled. Foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled and the same goes if there’s sticky tape or decorations on it. My suggestion here would be to make sure you buy wrapping paper that can be recycled easily – even better if that’s made with recycled paper.
Of course, I understand the huge importance of traditions in our life and I, myself, love gathering together with my family to spend a wonderful Christmas together. However, traditions can be adapted to lifestyle and personal preferences. At the end of the day, what really counts is that we all spend a memorable day surrounded by the people we love the most because that’s what will make us happy.
What do you think? Are there any traditions that you are going to break or bend this Christmas? Let me know what your plans are for the holidays!
My website: esterpiubeni.com
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Thank you again to Ester for her guest post on lifewithlilred! Happy holidays! Much love. -Sarah