When it feels like there’s only a few hours daylight a day, it’s freezing cold outside and you’re totally broke from Christmas shopping (unless you shopped my gift guide), it can be hard to see the bright side to winter.
My struggles with depression and anxiety can make this time of year particularly hard, but I’m determined to stay positive and see 2018 out on a high.
Here are the things about this time of year that I’m thankful for (set to the backdrop of the fabulous Edinburgh Christmas Markets). I’m hoping this list inspires you too!
1. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting all year to dress head-to-toe in velvet. Nothing says ‘Christmas’ more to me than burgundy velvet.
2. It’s sequin party dress season, and that always fills me with joy. Heck, why just stick to dresses? I’ll have sequins on everything please.
3. I am obsessed with faux fur, and this is the best time of year for all things fluffy. Faux Fur coats are possibly my biggest weakness. I’ll be content once I have one in every colour!
4. My other obsession is ankle boots, and the boot selection on the High Street in winter is amazing. You’ll find every colour, texture, fabric and style – not so good for my bank balance!
5. Christmas jumpers – need I say more? Even if you have a love/hate relationship with naff jumpers, there’s just SOMETHING addictive about some hideous festive knitwear.
6. Winter means it’s time to pull out the Primark velvet-lined leggings and Nice and Cosy tights. If you’ve never tried them they are a GAMECHANGER. Seriously, so snuggly.
7. Hats. All the hats. And scarves too. Winter is an accessories-addict’s dream.
8. At the Christmas market I had a bread bowl filled with melted cheese. Let me repeat that: a bread bowl filled with Melted. Cheese. Winter is a good time for us cheese fiends. Now pass me the Camembert.
9. My other favourite Christmas Market foodie discovery is a gin hot toddy. I loooove anything gin, and my favourite spirit is so delicious in this hot drink!
10. On the subject of hot drinks, winter is the best time for hot chocolates. I’ve started to be real naughty with mine and add Baileys to it. So yum.
11. I probably drink too much in winter, but is there anything better than a bucks fizz on Christmas morning? I am all about that breakfast booze.
12. There are soooo many good Christmas foods, it’s hard to narrow it down. Obviously Christmas Dinner is right up there. I’m planning to make veggie pigs in blankets this year.
13. I discovered panettone and stollen last year, and these fruity bread/cake hybrids are so good! I love a cheeky slice of panettone for breakfast. #sorrynotsorry
14. On the subjects of sweets, how can you not love a Terry’s Chocolate Orange? There are so many good chocolate goodies to enjoy over Christmas and I am totally okay with this.
15. Winter is the season for butternut squash, potatoes and parsnips – all of which are amazing roasted! Even vegetables feel super comforting right now.
16. Fruit-wise, who doesn’t love oranges and clementines? Winter is also when pomegranates are in season, which are so delicious (even though they can be difficult to get into!)
17. I’m a bit of a hermit, but Christmas is the one time of year I seem to have lots of social plans. I love having so many occasions to wear great outfits (see Fashion Yays).
18. Even better is the fact Christmas time is a chance to catch up with people you’ve not seen in a long time, as well as loved ones in general. I love that winter offers such great family time for me.
19. It seems that in December restaurants, pubs and clubs really up their game. I am all about going to Christmas party nights and eating from festive menus.
20. There also just seems to be so much to do. Whether that’s going to a Christmas market, attending a pantomime or hosting a Hogmanay party, December can be amazing fun.
However, I know that Christmas isn’t such a happy time for everyone. It can be tough if you don’t have family, or if you are having financial issues. If that’s you, and you’re struggling to find any joy at this time of year, then know it’s OK. And don’t feel like you need to have a traditional Christmas – if an oven pizza and a few beers is what you want to do for Christmas then that’s what you should do.
More than anything, during December I try to reflect on all that I have and how lucky I am. I hope you can all do the same.
Enjoy the festivities!