Reasons to be Cheerful – Christmas Comes to Birmingham

GM 8

I know. At least 50% of you are going to roll your eyes at this post, because you HATE Christmas and every damn thing that goes with it. It seems to be a pretty common feeling amongst my peers. Some of you hate all the commercialism, some what you see as a ‘forced’ frivolity, some just seem to be generally pissed off at the sight of twinkling lights and tinsel and the sound of jingling bells. Either way, any time I dare mention Christmas, I’m likely to be met with a response of ‘UGH, I HATE CHRISTMAS!!!’ which makes it a bit awks to be honest….

I don’t hate Christmas. I’m not one of those slightly over excited people who have their tree up as soon as Halloween is over or anything, but I can’t make myself hate the festive time of year. Soz. I know it’s, like, the done thing to be a grinch, but the twinkly lights and tinsel make me happy – they just do. Christmas songs make me all giddy inside. I LOVE buying gifts for all my friends and family, and I love even more that all my loved ones, who are usually scattered all over the country (and even the world, in some cases) are likely to be around for a week or two – because let’s face it, at this age, getting them all in the same room is a feat usually reserved for Weddings and Funerals!

So every year, when the German Christmas Market descends and at least half of the city lets out a collective moan of despair, I can’t help but finally feel cheerful – after the long weeks of cold and dark and rain it feels like a very welcome burst of warmth and light for me, and I try my best to make the most of it! We’re lucky in Brum to have one of the biggest markets outside Germany, and even though every year it’s pretty much the same, and yes, it is a little expensive, and no, it probably isn’t all that authentic (though people looking for authenticity should maybe just try actually going to Germany?? Just a thought…) I love it. True, I get a little annoyed at how long it takes me to get from one side of town to the other on my way home from work when there are hoards of tourists visiting, but I love the sound of carols blaring out, the smell of caramel wafting in the air and the smiley faces everywhere. I’ve never managed to spend longer than an hour or two actually drinking there, because even with a mulled cider in hand, it gets bloody cold, but I make a point of making sure I get at least one visit in each year.

The first visit is usually a lunchtime trip with my Dad and sister, which has become a bit of a tradition over the last few years. We embarked on such a trip on Friday, stuffing ourselves with frankfurters, garlic potatoes and crepes, and it really helped me get into the festive spirit. It even inspired us to get a proper start on the Christmas shopping! Most of all, at a time of year when I feel like time is whizzing by just a little too fast, it was lovely just to take some time out of work for an hour to stand still and take in my surroundings.

Every year my sister and I promise ourselves that we will try to visit a little more often – whether or not this year will be the year we actually manage to make that happen will remain to be seen, but for now I’m happy to just to pass by it each day on the commute, and think about Christmas and fun times with my nearest and dearest rather than think about work or decorating the house or what life event to save up for first for a change!

Happy Monday everyone, whether you’re a Christmas lover or not!

Love,

Sig

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