There’s something about this time of year. Maybe it’s the way our bodies crave hibernation, or maybe it’s the lure of the Christmas holiday, but as the nights reach their longest, we start to slow down.
The autumn months are full of freshness and anticipation. Although it’s a long time since I left school, September always feels like the beginning of a new year, more so than January does. It reminds me of the excitement of a new school year, of being a year older, a year closer to freedom.
The feeling of the days growing cooler and the nights growing longer is so closely tied with the festive season.
At Christmas, the world changes pace. Offices and schools close for the holiday, people travel home to visit their families, they get ready for rest, relaxation and as much food as they can eat.
The anticipation of that break is like a warm cocoon, calling to us across the early starts on dark mornings, when we wake to frosted pavements and icy windscreens. Those of us lucky enough to get time off breathe a huge sigh of relief. We get through the office party, Christmas jumper days, endless shopping trips and Secret Santa with our eye on the main prize. Collectively we can forget about work or even the world outside our immediate homes, if we like.
We get to enjoy that little festive bubble for a few days, where nothing matters but home and family and friends.
That little bubble is where I plan to spend my time over the holidays, curled up with a pile of books and a blanket, enjoying my time spent with the world on pause.