Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Sunday, December 01, 2019

In Celebration of December


In Celebration of December, Mandy Charlton, blogger, photographer, writer


December is the month of crisp frosts, red-hued sunsets, long naps, cosy pyjamas.  It's eating croissants with ham for a lazy lunch on the sofa, it's snuggling under furry blankets watching Christmas movies.  December gives us hope, belief in magic, no matter how old we are, just for a while, against a background of twinkly fairy lights, life is better, people are kinder and that's why it's my favourite month of the year.

I realise December sees the start of winter and believe me, I hate winter but no hearts can fail to be warmed by the presence of warm festive lighting and no guilt about the number of hot chocolates topped with marshmallows and squirty cream.  You cannot fail to get on board with any month which encourages you to eat vast amounts of cheese for every meal, unless you don't like cheese and then really, I'm always slightly suspicious about people who don't like cheese, much like the ones who don't like cake, they're always, in my experience, just that little bit odd.

December is the month when most of the country have time off work together, 50 plus million people all taking naps at once, not worrying about the time of day or indeed what day it actually is because let's face it, that's the joy of Christmas confusion and that's why I love it.  For me, it's the month I finally start to relax, work is hectic from March through to Christmas and the only time I manage to genuinely not think about my businesses is that sacred 2-week break over Christmas.  I used to be available over Christmas, I have in the past photographed weddings and family photoshoots but not for the last couple of years because I find my mental health is so much better if I can truly switch off for 2 weeks.

This year the sacred period is Monday 23rd December until Tuesday 7th January and I cannot wait!

December is also the time of year for my annual Christmas party, I only throw one party a year and it's the highlight of my year, a time to drink champagne with my favourite people, I excel at grazing tables and festive entertaining and last night, the good and the wonderful all gathered together in my home to enjoy, laughs, drinks and a lot of cheese.  Two notable exceptions, Steve and Ron couldn't join us this year and they really were missed this year but sometimes, things like that happen for all kinds of reasons...

I have the best of friends, I reached the point where I was exhausted and as I went off to bed, my friends tidied up before they all went clubbing, taking out a truckle of cheese with them as has become an almost yearly tradition, no one knows quite why but for one night, the cheese really does get to live it's best life.

Today I'll light my advent candle for the first time and I will think of all of the things I'm grateful for, I'll muse about the year's highlights, this year has been a mixed one, it's been my favourite ever year of photographing weddings whilst portraiture has suffered a lot with the wettest year in business I can ever remember, my income has undoubtedly been lower but I've enjoyed more time off so there's always a positive to find in each event.  My health has been wobbly and ultimately I'm still not at the end of that particular journey, I cannot though, do anything whilst I have no answers so it's not worth worrying about.

I may have had a weird relationship with Christmas Day over the last couple of years but I have decided that, thanks to the kindness of Harriet and her family that I will celebrate with them and go to our local pub for Christmas lunch,  Christmas may, for many reasons, not be the one I planned and hoped for with all of my heart but for long as I shall be alive, I will always have magical December's in my heart.
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