Why Christmas 2014 changed absolutely everything

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I’m sat writing this in a new set of fox pyjamas from New Look. They’re a size 14 and the satin shorts are too tight on my thighs and I’m like WHAT EVEN IS LIFE. So that’s happening. Dobby has just died on ITV, I have a vanilla candle flickering on my desk, have just read a handful of super mean blog comments (it’s the first time I’ve looked since clocking out on the 19th) and am listening to 1989 for probably the 1989th time.

And that’s that.

I’ve been back home in Suffolk for about 36 hours and am already itching to move past Christmas, to get back to work, to get on with an exciting new year, to shed the worst parts of myself and focus on the better parts because Christmas was different this year and it feels like everything is changing and that scares me.

I love Christmas, I’m a full-on Christmas mentalist. My presents are elaborately wrapped weeks in advance, I listen to Christmas Radio daily, I own every Christmas film, own too many pairs of festive pyjamas and socks, I adore this season and yet, somehow, in the weirdest way, Christmas this year just didn’t live up to my expectations. It just didn’t sit right.

That makes me sound selfish and ungrateful and horrible, I’m well aware. I saw pretty much every member of my family, every friend, I’ve spent a week non-stop with Chris, I’ve been spoilt with presents, I’ve drunk mulled wine, champagne and Snowballs, eaten so many Pigs In Blankets and I’ve smiled a lot, but it just didn’t hit that high spot.

Our festive fun started last week with a little soiree at our house, which was fun, except I didn’t like the photos of myself I saw the next day, and how big I looked. How tiny my head looked next to my continually growing bulbous body. The next evening I had drinks with uni friends and I hated the fact I had to leave early to catch a train back to Ipswich, it was the first time I’ve ever resented the fact I don’t live in London and it irritated me. Then we drove down to Sussex and Rudey got so upset by the two and a half hour car journey that she was sick and maybe sort of did a poo in her box. Naturally I nearly cried. That poor little girl. Seeing her that stressed out and poorly absolutely broke my heart and got my five days at home off to a sad start.

My memories of coming home for Christmas from either London or from uni are of non-stop fun. Girly sleepovers, wild nights out, board games, hungover McDonalds, cinema and shopping trips, all my favourite things. The difference this year is that, well, I don’t really have friends the way I used to. I’m not as close to people as I used to be, and most of us have grown up and have boyfriends and so we’re not this tight-knit inseparable group of girls anymore, we’re couples who’ve grown apart.

Being away from the home that me and Chris have made also made me realise how much I appreciate and need my own space now too. Having a small room and living out of a suitcase is something I’ve done a lot over my lifetime, but this was the first time it annoyed me, made me want to be back at my home, our home, with all our things and clutter-free rooms. I felt agitated and on edge but also incredibly lucky that I have this, that I have a home that feels exactly like a home that I never want to be away from.

I know I’m coming across horribly in this post, but what I want to say, what I want to get across is that this is the first year where Christmas wasn’t easy, Christmas wasn’t being a child and drowning in happiness, this year was the first Christmas I felt like an adult and really felt all the less-cheery side-effects of the holiday season.

It made me feel as though I had out-grown a lot of the things I normally do that have become traditions, like going to the village pub on Christmas Eve and coming back to Sussex for long stints to catch-up with people. I’m ready to re-define Christmas, re-write my traditions, to maybe mix things up next year.

Another huge thing for me this Christmas was that I didn’t go to Polish Christmas on the 24th, something I’ve done every year since I was born. It was something me and my brothers and Mum used to do with my grandparents, but as my Dziadziu passed away last year and my Babcia’s dementia is too bad for her to come out of her nursing home, and so I just didn’t want to go. I pulled out last minute, and I know it hurt my brothers and my Mum, but I had to do it for me. I’ll go into more details on my vlog maybe in the New Year, but yeah, it was huge and weird and that.

So yes, Christmas was a ball and I am so thankful I was able to spend it with my favourite people, but to me it was kind of overshadowed by how obvious it was that I’d outgrown typical Hannah Gale Christmas. In some ways I’m ridiculously sad that some of the things that I looked forward to most no longer bring me any pleasure, but I’m also excited to see what the future as a fully-fledged grown-up brings.

Change is scary and sometimes it’s hard to let go of things that you feel attached to, but you’ve got to shed the bad, the things and the people that no longer make you happy, otherwise you’ll never make room in your life for fresher, brighter and more exciting things to come.

Peace out.

Ending this blog post on the fact the house is currently making me sneeze so badly I’ve had two nose bleeds in the past hour and have loo roll stuffed up my right nostril. Sexy.

 

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  • Tamzin

    Oh Hannah, I totally feel your pain! This Christmas was the first in mine and my partner’s new house together, and so we decided to keep it personal and just do dinner for the 2 of us… I cried before the veg was even cooked. I couldn’t cope with my perfectly planned Christmas dinner not being anywhere near as perfect as I’d imagined, and I missed watching my family opening the presents I’d bought them, and it just generally didn’t feel like a “proper” Christmas. I guess that I too have to change my expectations of Christmas now, and accept that I’ve outgrown my childhood memories of what it should be like. It’s rubbish that the whole week just feels like an anti-climax, as I absolutely adore Christmas, but I have a new career to look forward to in the new year and my resolution is to stop setting my expectations so high and to try to enjoy the moment more!! I hope you have a wonderful new year and feel like yourself and again soon! X

  • laura

    The past few Christmases I have felt the same, a massive high before and feeling very down on the day and after. Being 30 and living away from home it’s just never the same as when u were in school and college and it’s was all about friends, going out, catch ups. I have only seen my friends once this Xmas. 🙁 My sister is pregnant and next year there will be a baby around so I’m expecting a different Christmas from now on! Life moves on! You just have to live in the moment and trust that you are were you’re meant to be!

  • Oh Hannah! As soon as I saw this I was like, “who’s upset Hannah???”

    Sometimes things aren’t the way you want them to be, but that’s okay! I always think, if you put so much effort into celebrating just one day you’re bound to be disappointed! Why not celebrate a little every day 🙂 for example, the top of the pyjamas fit right?? WIN!

    Hope you feel better soon, and happy new year! xXx

  • I can empathise with everything you’ve said. I have found that my my friendship circle has significantly decreased over the last few years, and that makes me really sad. Christmas neever lives up to espectations, and gets less exciting as the years go on. I know exactly what you mean about space, because that’s something I struggle with. I too get myself wound up looking at pictures of myself – my 5ft2 frame can’t tolerate much over-indulgence without being quite obvious, yet the diets keep faltering. So I’m basically just saying, I feel you! I hope that 2015 brings you plenty of happiness and good wishes.
    Much love x
    Laura at Lola and Behold

  • Tara

    I’m so glad you have written this post! I didn’t expect anyone else to write something like this, especially as I couldn’t quite work out what was wrong with me… I think it’s the first Christmas as an adult, and everything that comes with it, including leaving childhood rituals and traditions behind. I don’t think you’re being horrible, I think you’re being honest and that many other people probably feel the same! Xx

    P.s I absolutely LOVE your blog! It’s so honestly written… I feel like you’re chronicling my life. Please keep writing! Xx

  • Bex

    Don’t worry, I totally feel your pain! This Christmas was spent at my other half’s parents as last year we both worked but managed to squeeze in a few hours with my family (however, the in laws make it out as though we spent weeks there). I didn’t enjoy Christmas Day AT ALL, I’m usually up at 7am but this year I sulked in bed until 10:45. I didn’t like the way everyone opened their presents together as my family always take it in turns, I didn’t like the lack of Buck’s Fizz or chocolate for breakfast and I certainly wasn’t impressed with the general lack of enthusiasm. The Christmas lunch was amazing however I wasn’t expecting to be served the exact same thing for lunch the next day (how do you turn down a roast dinner? Impossible, even when your jeans are straining in protest).

    However, my other half hasn’t had a Christmas with his family for over 3 years due to work commitments so although this wasn’t how I’d usually like to spend Christmas it has been worth it just to see him happy!
    Sadly, Christmas when you’re a couple is always about compromise and keeping everyone else happy which makes it difficult to know what you really want.
    I’m sure over the next few years you’ll be able to figure out the best way for you and will be able to regain some of your old Xmas cheer!!

    I really love your blog, please keep it up! Xxx

  • I think you’re expressing what a lot of people feel. We put A LOT of expectations on Christmas and in reality, it changes because we change. The best thing, I think, is that you’ve really identified that you ARE happy with your life right now. That even through all those times with friends and family back in familiar surrounds with everything tinted with the sweet rosy glow of nostalgia, it’s your real life that you crave returning to. That’s pretty much the dream, sweets.

    http://theretailreports.blogspot.com.au

  • Totally get where you are coming from. This Christmas we had a really quiet one which was lovely as previous years were it has been really busy and lots of people round have totally knocked off my anxiety.

    Growing up is a weird thing but sometimes it feels really nice to create your own traditions.

    Love your blog, your posts and always really honest and witty. Your posts on depression have really helped me this year as I have been dealing with it myself.

    Happy New Year! x

  • Henrietta

    This is the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to comment on your blog (I’ve lurked for months) and all I really wanted to say is a get you. And I think that far from coming across badly this post was one of your mature, thoughtful and insightful.

    Shoot from the hip, even if you hit yourself occasionally.

  • Chrissy

    I totally get where you’re coming from. I often feel really guilty that I don’t get as excited for Christmas and ALLL of the family time as others do. Christmas in my house is more formal than I’d like and I’m also starting to rethink the traditions and try to build my own Christmas that I love as an adult!

  • Emma-Louise Renton

    Love your honesty. Christmas isn’t the same for me since moving to Perth but I try to embrace the change and enjoy the things I couldn’t back in the UK like a bbq on the beach and a sun tan! Here’s to a happy 2015!

  • Rose

    I get this so much. This year I spent my first Christmas away from family, with just me and my boyfriend (and my new bunny friend!). It felt weird, but it was really nice and super fun because we had so much freedom to do whatever the hell we wanted, which was mainly drinking too much and eating soooooo much food, to the point that I now I look permanently pregnant, and do not want to leave the house for shame. I think this year I was actually more excited about Christmas because it was a break from tradition and I felt in control, no forced fun for me!

    Don’t feel bad about wanting change or changing, it’s healthy and normal and exciting!

  • Oh hun! This post just makes me want to give you a huge hug! Christmas this year was a bit disappointing for me as well. I just felt so stressed and I didn’t feel as happy as I normally do and I just don’t know why. It’s really weird. I also understand having your family member with dementia is hard too. My grandma had it last year and sadly passed away. It was horrible.

    I loved this post purely because it was incredibly honest. I think you do show you are grateful and I’m sure anybody reading this would be like, well it sounds like you had a tough time don’t worry about sounding ungrateful. Not everyone is going to be in the festive spirit at Christmas. Life still carries on and upsetting things still happens that can ruin the experience for us. Some people need to understand that.

    However I really hope things improve and I wish you all the happiness for 2015!

  • Lola

    Welcome to the world of being a grown up!

    Seriously, you’ll get there. You’ll find your own traditions and routines for Christmas.

    You’ll be able to focus on yourself next year and make yourself the you that you want/need to be. You will. Your life has changed completely, give yourself a break, girl!

    Believe me if you have kids any time soon you’ll not have time to discover all this stuff. It goes to the bottom of the list. Make yourself happy now.

    I hope I haven’t totally misunderstood your post, but it does sound like you are transitioning into the next phase of your adult life. Enjoy it!

  • Oh Hannah, this blog post was wonderfully honest! I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting that you just can’t live out of a suitcase for too long or that you missed being away from your own home. Instead, be excited to write and create your own new Christmas memories.

    Also, don’t feel bad about pulling out of the Polish Christmas, you have to do things for yourself, and they’ll always be for the best. Your Mum and Brother will see it that way too at some point 🙂

    Beka. xo
    http://littleworldofbeka.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Charlotte

    This, totally and completely.

    I think if we knew each other in real life, we’d be best buds. I can’t really add anything more to the previous comments, but stick with it and know that you’re not alone!

    X

    P.s, I’ve eaten a whole chocolate orange this afternoon and have had at least one Baileys a day since 1st December. I’m just blaming Christmas and am hoping that I’ll become a gym head come January..

  • I think this is the best post ive read all Christmas 🙂

  • Hi Hannah!
    I can relate to SO so many points you have made. This Christmas was also hard for me! I realised I had SO many people to visit on just Christmas day rather than just sitting back and enjoying my own time with my family.
    I am also hating whats looking back at me in the mirror and the fact that my clothes are a lot more ‘snug’ however I am just putting it down to enjoying my food more over Christmas….totally not the over-eating honest!

    Hannah Rosalie
    xox
    http://www.wordsbyhannahrosalie.com

  • I’ve never read your blog, I’ve never heard of your name before but this post is quite possibly the most relate-able post I’ve EVER read. It’s honest and true. My Christmas was wonderful and magical but it wasn’t right, it was unfamiliar and weird and that unnerved me a little. I wrote a little post myself about my Christmas, it’d be ace if you’d give it a gander. potoffloss.blogspot.co.uk


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