Christmas is a time for giving and what better way than by singing carols from the roof tops! As a Patron of Breathe AHR I sing regularly at Guys' and St Thomas' Hospitals and the Christmas concerts are my favourite. For some of the patients it is the only time they will hear festive music and so they love to have a little singalong. Yesterday I met a wonderful patient who told me “I had a chemo appointment today and you have made my day” - as far as I am concerned that is a job well done! Music is here for everyone's enjoyment!
If you have the opportunity - sing in your local choir, attend a carol concert and if you cant do that a simple “Merry Christmas” will do.
There's no better way to kick-start the festive season than by decorating your home. For me, personally decorating the tree is a wonderful highlight and such a special moment. I also love Christmas garlands and Christmas candles to get you in the mood. Pinterest is a great way to get ideas a styles. Here are some of my decorations for inspiration.
Although I am a terrible cook I do love to bake and there is nothing better than having the smell of cakes, biscuits and other sweet treats from the oven, go around the house. Its a great thing to do with family, friends and of course children. If you can't be bothered to bake from scratch, why not buy a pre-made gingerbread house and just decorate it. It also makes for a wonderful decorative piece around the house.
For all of those readers who feel inspired to have a go, here is a very simple shortbread recipe from my Uncle Dave that I use all the time now:
Christmas is the best time to catch up with loved ones as life often gets so incredibly busy throughout the year and these simple pleasures can get lost. Just for a change, how about instead of buying friends and family a gift why not give each other an experience - with so many wonderful things going on there are plenty to choose from. Here are some of my favourites:
Christmas Afternoon Tea
Ice skating at Somerset House
West End Show - A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Market
Although Christmas is filled with present-giving, socialising, drinking and, my personal favourite, eating fabulous delicious food, make sure you take a moment to think of the people that wont be able to have Christmas this year. There are many emergency staff in hospitals, military, police, fire brigade, nurses, doctors and more who will be working hard to keep us safe. While you are buying your gifts and ordering your turkeys perhaps take a moment to make a donation to a worthwhile charity like CRISIS www.crisis.org.uk. who provide shelter for those who need it most, over the coldest period of the year. You can donate money to help get people off the streets on Christmas Day and provide them with a hot meal too!
Last of all…. Have a Merry Christmas