OK now let’s get one thing straight. I love Christmas. Like I really love it. I mean, I get that warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling around pretty lights at the best of times, but Christmas… that weird goofy look in my eye goes into overdrive. The rumours are true, it really is a wonderful time of year. I spend a lot more time outside, exploring the city and the world in general, chasing sunshine and day drinking because “it’s Christmas”. But I decided to venture out of town this week, and head once again to Warners Bay. Now that I’m in living right in town, I truly do feel like one of those proper town snobs, (you know… one of the people that don’t really venture past Broadmeadow for fear of god knows what). But this week on a rare morning off, I needed a break away from the world and headed to Warners Bay to tuck myself away in the arcade.
It’s usually a place I go where I don’t want to run into anyone, being Newcastle, it’s a very rare occasion to walk down the street and not see anyone I either know or recognise. But this morning, it was really nice, to sit and reflect on the week I’d had, and it’s been a very big and exciting week. I like the arcade in particular because there is always a constant hum of activity circulating. It’s very easy to pull up a chair, drink coffee slowly - thank you Bella Beans, and enjoy the world as it swirls around you. So now I’m reflecting. Because it really seems that this year life decided to really come through for me in a really major way. All at once in fact. I say to people all the time, to take a moment to be proud and happy for yourself, this I did this morning. I also think the Lake is wonderful, and very beautiful and definitely not appreciated enough, especially by me. I keep meaning to catch some of the live music they have on Friday evenings, but this week, once again, life will get in the way, spoilt for choice for activities around this great town of ours.
Back to Christmas, I put a whole heap of thought into what I’m going to get people every year, I am extremely sentimental of course. I can definitely guarantee that I put much more emphasis into buying or commandeering presents for others than I do about what I will receive. We live in an age of consumerism, everything is at our fingertips, it’s very easy to just go out and buy something for yourself without relying on Santa or whoever else to get it for you. Which is why I take great pride in trying to get something for people that I know they will either not get for themselves or, something that I know will mean a lot to them. It’s very important that I purchase gifts, wherever possible, from independent retailers. It’s very easy to forget the people that work tirelessly, not backed by a giant brand or shopping centre, that the economic boost they receive during the Christmas period can often keep them afloat during the tougher winter months. And since I’m in the Arcade i’ll mention the fact that this little collection businesses is a prime example of this.
Christmas also gets me thinking about making plans and coming together. This year in particular I won’t be so tragically Bridget Jones. An image that I have perfected over say the last three years. Lots of things have changed for me, and I’ve started to realise the importance of surrounding yourself with people, and that it’s actually ok to let people in. Families also come in many shapes and sizes. Of course I have my immediate family circle and Christmas Day is always spent with them. But as I wandered into Chester’s Pet Bakery, I started thinking about my favourite little mate and family member, Hugo.
I’ve been without my little buddy for about two and a half weeks now, I like to give him a chance to see me settled before I bring him into a new place. He’s a very stoic little guy, and unfortunately at times, tends to mirror whatever I’m feeling at the time. So basically, if I’m in any way stressed out or feeling anxious, which can happen quite frequently, he refuses to leave my side or more accurately my shoulder, in his attempt to help me feel ok. So, moving into a new environment is definitely not ideal for him, and it takes him a little while to really adjust to the place that we will now call home. To make this transition a little easier, I bribe him, and shower him with treats and new toys and basically throw him a mini house warming party. So this morning after sipping coffee at Bella Beans I made my way into Chester’s Pet Bakery, wishing of course, once again, that I had a dog. Or at least a harness for Huey so I could be that crazy bird lady and take him everywhere. I purchased him something that I know will distract him from the perils of moving, and help him to adjust to my recent lift in mood. Because this week my little family will be back together again, finally. Just in time for Christmas, just in time to come together and for me to decorate his cage with tinsel. Hopefully he won’t be so terrified of it this year.