This year, I’ve kind of had to cram everything in. My viva was on 15th December and that was cutting it awfully close to Christmas. Since my social life had dwindled to nothing, I had to spend the weekend of the 17th and 18th rushing around, seeing as many people as possible before everyone left for their Christmas break. Not that I didn’t want to see people, just that normally I’d spread it out more.
I managed to put my tree up during a study break on 11th December, and that started to make things feel Christmassy. Plus, I’ve remembered to open my Advent calendar (almost) every day this year. Mine’s a chocolate one from Thornton’s. I recommend it.
On the other hand, while I managed to find time to buy Christmas cards, I’ve only found time to write and hand out about 3 of them. To everyone who gave me a card this year, I’m so sorry, I’m usually much more organised than this, I just couldn’t fit it in. Last year I’d already written and handed out about 100 cards by now, many of them posted, something I love to be able to do. This year, it just wasn’t happening.
Oh, and thank goodness for the internet and next day delivery. I have not had time to go to the shops either, but 30 minutes in a lunch break goes a long way to ordering lots of presents. I mean sure, I still need to wrap them, but at least I don’t need to fight through crowds to find them and at least I don’t need to carry them home myself.
So, I’ve got to admit, I’ve kind of been feeling the pressure. If you find Christmas a difficult time of year, I totally get it, it can be really stressful. Fortunately for me, my main source of stress evaporated at about 16:30 on 15th December but that didn’t mean I was ready to take on a new source just because that’s what the season dictated.
Instead, I decided to enjoy what I could do. That meant:
- Attending (briefly) the School Christmas party and hugging my work friends, especially J, who had his viva that day
- Visiting P’s family and hanging out with them for a day, given it was our last chance before Christmas
- Attending Raj’s Christmas party and saying hello to Rhys and Louise (who I would have loved to have seen more of) and wishing everyone there a very merry Christmas
- Visiting some friends who have just bought their first house because they’re real grown ups and swapping Christmas wishes with friends from my undergraduate degree there
- Attending my research group’s amazing Christmas lunch in Cottier’s Theatre, even if I was exhausted and had to leave early
- Falling asleep on the sofa with P, having eaten too much pizza (what? That’s not festive?)
As I write this I have one day left at work. We’ll set up something to run over Christmas and tidy up a few loose ends so that everything is ready to go in January. I’ll need to work on my thesis corrections over my Christmas break but I don’t really mind. It’ll be nice to be home and to be working to my own schedule and I’m looking forward to throwing myself back into research, and into life, come January.
So, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I hope your festive season has been as fun as mine has been so far, but hopefully not quite so hectic.