The Secret of a Merry Christmas

After a month of festive food programmes, fairy lights and glossy perfume ads Christmas is finally here. According to collective fantasy we should pass the day in a booze-haze, flinging mince pies into our faces while the Queen mumbles on the telly. Every sentient being knows there is a chasm between Christmas Fact and Christmas Fiction, though, even for those of us fortunate enough to be spending the day in a warm house, with pleasant company and plenty to eat.

Family tension, memories of loss, or disappointment can tarnish holiday cheer, if we let them. It is vital to remember, as Ursula LeGuin said:

Love is not a thing that happens to us. It’s a thing we do…. It’s not an experience. It’s a way of relating.

If we expect love and happiness to wait on us we’ll always be disappointed. The secret to happiness at Christmas, or any day, is to make love an active choice, not a passive sentiment.

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

Across the pond its Thanksgiving and various friends and family are getting set to tuck into some serious eating. Luckily, I get to skip the dead poultry element of the day and focus on the best part – things for which I’m thankful. This year has been such an adventure and it’s not over yet. In no particular order, here are a few of my many reasons to be grateful:

o Being lavished with love and support by my wonderful friends who have literally welcomed me back to London with open arms
o A terrific job interview for an internal communications role at Three yesterday
o Spending time with my family this summer and, especially, meeting Rayann and Carolina – two beautiful, generous women who I’m so happy to know
o A superlative road trip with Sarah which took in all kinds of highs and lows and taught me so much (Thank you for your patience sweetie x)
o Two glorious months in Ibiza with Ruth: sunshine, salads and smoothies
o Wendy’s return from Shanghai and being able to share a month with her in Galway
o The opportunity to work on some great projects with Bo Rinaldi & team
o The generosity and wisdom of my book interviewees: Nancy @Family On Bikes, Raina @MindBody Fitness, Ruth Heidrich, Matt @Walden Project, Kathy Blume, Geordie Stewart, Kerry & John @La Muse, JJ Tiziou and Navina Khanna – all inspiring people doing amazing things with their lives.