A luxury lifestyle often brings to mind images of brimming-with-Chanel wardrobes, 5 star hotel stays and chauffeur driven cars. My opinion has always been that you don’t need these kinds of things to live a life that feels luxurious.
So, what about a luxurious Christmas? I think we’re all sometimes guilty of wanting more, particularly during the festive season. A bigger and better tree, more expensive decorations to wow any visitors and ALL of the food. Well, I know that last one is definitely me. Oops.
It’s all too easy to get tree envy, to feel pressured into spending a fortune on gifts and feeling the need to splurge on everything to try to impress people for no apparent reason.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard about many people who aren’t looking forward to Christmas. There are a lot of people struggling, whether it’s through grief, hardship or loneliness and the festive period can be very difficult.
I recently watched the Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds Christmas special on Channel 4. They repeated the experiment they first tried a little while ago where a group of 4 year old children were taken into a retirement community. Many of the elderly residents had previously been feeling depressed, helpless about the future and declining in confidence. Spending time with the children really helped to improve their moods, outlook and even health.
This time, the 4 year olds visited the same retirement community over Christmas. The sheer delight on the residents’ faces to be reunited with the children was so joyous. To see the elderly people so happy to be engaging with the children, joining in with festive activities and having things to look forward to was so nice to see. If you haven’t seen the programme and want to watch it, I highly recommend having a box of tissues nearby!
The programme also showed how many elderly people in the wider community relied on a charity telephone befriending service. They were lonely every day and particularly at Christmas. Just to have someone talking to them over the phone was something that meant so much to them.
Seeing how tough so many people find the festive season makes me feel so thankful for little luxuries. Because I feel it can be easy to forget about them in this world of constant commercialism and comparison.
Celebrating the little luxuries at Christmas makes us realise that the festive season is so much more than just a time of wishlists and splashing out. It’s also a time to treasure and celebrate everything we have and to see just how lucky we truly are.
For me, having a family who care deeply about me is something I hold very dear. To be able to celebrate Christmas Day with my husband and family, all of us being healthy, is the most wonderful thing. There will be a lot of people feeling alone, so getting to spend the whole day with people close to me is amazing.
All of us having the day off work together is definitely something I never take for granted. A lot of people out there won’t be so lucky. There aren’t many times in our busy lives when we get the luxury of spending the whole day together eating delicious food and relaxing, so it’s something we all cherish.
Enjoying a home cooked Christmas lunch with all the trimmings is definitely something to celebrate. Pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, homemade stuffing – well, I just can’t wait. When there are a lot of people in this world who would do anything to enjoy a nice meal, being able to have this kind of food feels like a real gift. It’s something I always feel so thankful for.
My Auntie and Uncle write a small letter in our Christmas card every year and I always enjoy reading what they have to say. It’s a nice feeling to know that even though we live miles apart, they are thinking of us every year and take the time to ask how we are and take a real interest in our lives. Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that make a big difference.
It may sometimes feel like your Christmas isn’t as incredible, as memorable and as show-stopping as everyone else’s, but when you choose to focus on the little luxuries, you may well find that your Christmas is far more luxurious and fabulous than you realised.
What little luxuries will you be celebrating this Christmas?
However you choose to celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year.