The thing I most enjoy about Christmas is the atmosphere. If I were to go one step cornier, I’d say ‘Christmas cheer’, but that may be pushing things.
…It’s true though! January life seems starkly different from that of December, and it’s not on account of any real change, but because of how I feel. There’s an atmosphere to the month of December that, put simply, lifts my spirits.
Like when you walk past the shops and they have their most beautiful products arranged in the windows, draped with tinsel and with fake snow scattered around. Clothes shop changing rooms are filled with excited chatter as you try to find something glamourous for the office party that weekend. You walk out of the subway and pass a stand selling Nutella crepes. The staff are wearing matching woolly jumpers. And then once it’s dark- the lights. Hanging from streetlamps, from windows, across the branches of trees.
Perhaps I am a little more attuned than most to the pre-Christmas buzz. To me, it’s like it alters the pH of the air around me. I breath it in and it buoys my steps. The chatter of a busy café has an air of excitement. Shopping, an ordeal I usually avoid, becomes suddenly enjoyable as society condones my excessive, altruistic spending. Every banal activity that you undertake has an underlying sense of festivity, from buying a coffee whilst Bing Crosby croons at you through the café speakers, to going to the supermarket and getting a whiff of pine from the Christmas trees stacked together by the entrance.
I realise that this is perhaps an odd thing to prize above all else at Christmas, but for me, a lot of the conventionally great things about this holiday have a tendency to fall short: a white Christmas has always been a rarity in North-West England; eating myself into a coma has never really been my thing; and the family-time aspect of the holidays becomes infinity more stressful when juggling divorced parents.
The contagious cheer of the entire month, however, keeps me positively charged right up until the 25th and lingers on a for a few days after. I only wish that we could maintain the energy throughout the entirety of winter!
Rachael is a language graduate with a passion for all things literary. Currently working in publishing and dabbling with her own writing. Find her on Twitter(@rlt8593) and her blog page Rachael’s Reads!