Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Christmas Is Awful!

For many people Christmas is their most favourite time of year: the food, the presents, the snow and everything else that the festive period brings. But there are so many people who struggle at Christmas time who might need an extra helping hand or the occasional hug from a friend.

There are so many people around the world who struggle with so many different things so it is so important to be mindful at Christmas time. Many people struggle with alcohol reliance and as you can imagine, Christmas must be the hardest time for them. With mulled wine, eggnog and so many other alcoholic drinks being very popular in the festive season, it must be so hard to escape it. Everywhere you turn there is a pub, a shop selling alcohol, a Christmas market selling hot mulled wine, temptation is everywhere. If you know someone who is reliant on alcohol or is sober who may be struggling, drop them a message, ask how they're doing, if you can do anything for them, if they need anything- just be there.

General loneliness is a massive problem, not only here in the UK but all over the world. Many people feel lonely, especially at Christmas time- people go away, their family have passed away, they have been made homeless, there are so many reasons why. The most vulnerable are the elderly who may need a helping hand in Winter alone and may just need a bit of company around the festive season so if you could offer that to someone, even just a neighbour, you'd be doing the world a good deed.

Christmas can be an incredibly challenging time for survivors of abuse who may be forced to see their abuser if they're family during this time of year. Some people who dont understand have pushed their family member to 'forgive and forget' their abuse but everybody deals with it in a different way. Toxic family members can also cause a lot of stress for someone at Christmas if they have to see them again, be reminded of their ways and damaging words. Sometimes its okay to remove yourself from a situation even if others dont agree!

Food, as you know, is one of the main focuses at Christmas time with food on full display all Christmas day: Christmas dinner, Christmas pudding, mince pies, cheese boards and whatever else everyone has. For some people this is incredibly desirable but for others it is their worst nightmare. Foor brings fear into so many peoples lives- which it absolutely shouldnt do, I know! But there are so many people around the world who struggle with eating disorders meaning that winter is particularly challenging. If you know someone who has issues with food or is recovering from an eating disorder, drop them a message, ask them how they're doing, its good to be kind.

After the death of someone we know and love, the 'firsts' are always a struggle. First birthday without them. First trip to the seaside without them. First Christmas without them. It is natural to be upset, losing someone is incredibly hard and the 'firsts' without them are always a challenge. What is important is to look back on the memories you had created over the years, reminisce. Read cards, look at photographs, talk about memories- remind yourselves of the good times. Reach out and support each other.

So many people are going through so much and it is hard to know what everyone is going through but if you have a particular person in mind when reading this, drop them a message, go and see them, I promise you that they'll be happy to hear from you.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

My Festive Bucket List

This festive period has come around super quickly this year- does anyone else agree? 2019 seems to have flown by, the New Year will shortly be upon us and I feel like I have achieved nothing this year, so for December, I thought I would make myself a festive bucket list to try to complete by the end of December so I too can feel a small sense of achievement in 2019, so here goes!

So, first things first, lets start with something fun. This December I want to visit some Christmas Markets. Although, I have actually been to the Christmas Markets in York already this year when we accidentally stumbled on them, during a spontaneous trip to get Christmas presents and see Lucy Spraggan- does that really surprise you though? I absolutely love York and think that it is such a beautiful place, so to witness the Christmas Markets there was rather magical! There were also 1 or 2 Christmas Market stalls in the Disney Village in Paris which was so incredibly magical and obviously I just had to get some candy floss. I am hoping that Amsterdam have some Christmas Markets when we go there in the middle of December because I think it would be such an amazing experience to look around them there... and find mum a Christmas bauble.

We all should know by now that I spend 90% of my life with my camera in my hand, so you could have predicted really that there would be something on this bucket list to do with taking photographs right? Well, in December, I'd like to take as many photographs as I possibly can. I have found that lately, I really dont take as many photographs as I used to and that makes me so sad because what the heck can I look back on? So as of now, December is all about making memories and capturing the memories in a photograph!

I think that this will be on most people's bucket list but I'd really love to see snow this Christmas period, or even better, have a white Christmas- I know, thats wishful thinking but a girl can dream, right? In May we adopted my dog, Dina and because it is her first Christmas with us, I really want it to be special. Can you just imagine all the cute photographs I could get of her seeing snow in the UK for the first time? That'd make my Christmas. I really think she will love the snow so please pray with me that we get some snow, even just a bunch of it for just a day!

My room always gets so messy, so in order to preserve my mental well being and my own sanity, I really think that it would be a good idea to attempt, yes attempt, to tidy a bit of my room every day just so that it doesnt get as overwhelming as it usually does and I feel okay for the Christmas period. Tidy room, tidy mind, right? No, I've never believed that either but its worth a try.

Go outside Ebony! I need to keep getting myself outside this December, yes, even if its cold, well hey, when am I ever cold? Anyway, there will always be a tub of hot chocolate powder waiting for me in the cupboard. Sometimes I really struggle to kick myself out of bed and get myself outside but I need to do it. Although, my biggest fear in Winter is slipping over and looking like a complete idiot.

And last but not least, the final thing on my bucket list is simply: to stay alive. The Christmas period can be incredibly challenging for so many people as you probably already know. I find it so stressful buying presents for people because I find myself questioning if they really like the present that I give them or whether they're just lying to me so that I dont feel bad- anyone else? Although, December is my main month when I do my projects. For those of you who arent familiar with my projects, every year, for Christmas, I try to do a project where I raise money for something or just generally try to make people smile. Last year I raised money for a friend of mine who was struggling financially which enabled her to pay her rent on her flat and have enough money to eat properly. The year before that I raised some money for another friend of mine who had been through some hardships through her life and whos family deserved something to smile for. This year, so far, I have raised £105 for Just For Dogs, done a massive project for Lucy Spraggan from all of her fans and managed to raise an additional £100 for Just For Dogs and £100 for Calm with the help of some very incredible Lucy Spraggan fans. As you can imagine, these projects can get very stressful but they are so incredibly rewarding.