How I’ve decided to make the most of the holidays

December 28, 2017

Tons of work, Christmas dinners with friends and colleagues as if the world was ending with the year, Christmas gift shopping, kids’ Christmas school shows, suitcases to pack, stress trying to fit everything in the car, miles and miles of driving before arriving home… I believe the feeling of running a marathon the weeks before the holidays, the impression of holding your breath until the 24th is common to many of us and, in my case, it has been exacerbated since I have children. It doesn’t last, it’s for a good cause, but still it’s such an effort that I usually spend half of the holidays either exhausted and with no energy to do anything at all or, quite often unfortunately, I get sick.

Every year it’s the same story: tiredness comes together with a mix of the emotion and anxiety of going back home: emotion because I’m going to see my loved ones and anxiety because I’m going to miss those who are not here anymore very much. With all that, days fly and I always come back to the routine with the feeling I haven’t done much.

This time, though, I’m determined to change things and enjoy these days as if the world was really ending on December 31st. I want to do all those things I don’t have time to do when I work: enjoy every single moment I spend with friends and family. I’m going to devote myself to the things I’ve always wanted to do when I’m in Spain, but which I’ve never done because so far that’s not how I used to spend time when I was at my mum’s home.

These are some of the activities I’ve planned for the Christmas holidays. I’m sure I’m being too ambitious, but it’s better to think big, right?

1. Bake cookies with Inés. I think you’ve read several times that the kitchen and myself aren’t big friends. Inés, though, seems to have inherited the cooking skills of her grandma and this Christmas I’d like to spend an afternoon with my mum and my daughter baking Christmas cookies. Can you believe I’ve never tried?

2. Make an advent wreath. You’re going to tell me the advent period is over, but last year I made one at home and it was so fun and relaxing with the scent of eucalyptus, Christmas songs and the warmth of the fireplace that this year I was frustrated I didn’t have time to make another one during the advent period (actually the most stressing time of the year at work!). Well, why wouldn’t I make one now even if it’s not the time anymore? If it makes me happy, I just need to go for it!

3. Study the photography breakouts I’ve bought. When I see an interesting course launch, I can’t resist buying it. Then I lack time to look at it and it stays in the hard drive forever. I’m looking forward to having some time to learn more.

4. Take pictures of my loved ones. Since I’ve started to do family sessions I can’t be happier, but at the same time the reality is that I have less time to take photos of my own family. The Pyrenees offer spectacular landscapes and such a beautiful light… I also want to do more documentary photography: my mum with her grandchildren and my brother and his wife while we are all together. Those pictures may not be the most artistic ones but I’m convinced I’m going to love them more than all others in a few years’ time.

5. Read, read and read. I love reading and I must admit Instagram has stolen some of the time I used to spend doing it. Now books have recovered their territory in my life and I look forward to reading a few ones these days. Right now, I’m finishing the third novel of the series «My brilliant friend» and I love it!

6. Watch Spanish movies. Since I live in Switzerland (17 years already!) I’ve missed many films of the excellent Spanish cinema. I’ve started a list of the ones I’ve missed and when the kids are in bed we’re going to watch some of them.

7. Do some sightseeing in my region. When you’re born somewhere, you’re not very much attracted to visiting the region and it’s a big mistake. I want to introduce my kids to the Valle de Tena, Ainsa and Boltaña (where we got married), Saragossa, Jaca…

The list is way much longer, but I think that I’ll be more than happy if I manage to do at least some of the activities I mentioned. I’ll go back to Switzerland with the feeling I’ve made the most of my time in Spain.

What are your plans for the holidays? I wish you’ll make the most of it, that you’ll have taken the opportunity to hold your loved ones in your arms and that you’ll find some time for yourself too. Happy holidays!

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