What a strange month November has been. We’ve been back in national lockdown, we’ve been busy preparing for what will look like a very different Christmas this year, and I’ve been attempting to continue with my job search. And let’s not forget the exciting news of vaccinations and presidential elections!
After a busy month, here’s a breakdown of what else has been happening:
It feels like a lifetime has passed since I found out my job was being put at risk of redundancy. In reality it was only 3 months ago. When I made the decision to take redundancy, I was originally asked to stay on until the 8th December. However, the person taking over the new role (cough…my old role with a new swanky title) is yet to start, so whilst this is my last full-time week in post, I’ve agreed to stay on until Christmas in a part-time capacity to allow a handover period when the new me starts next month.
FACT: Looking for a job while you’re still working flat out is hard!
Although I’m going to miss not having a full-time wage coming in in December, I can’t wait to have a couple of extra days each week to really focus on my job search. I’m still looking into going freelance, but I need to make sure I have a backup plan just in case I can’t pick up enough freelance work before my redundancy pay runs out.
Coming out of lockdown – Take 2
So, after 4 weeks back in lockdown, this coming week see’s the country moving back to the tiered system, and London moving back to tier 2. This means we still can’t socialize outside of our bubbles indoors, but we can meet in groups of up to 6 outdoors, pubs, restaurants and shops can re-open, and bizarrely, as much as I still can’t sit in my mum and dad’s living room, I can go and watch a live event take place (with tight restrictions on spectator/audience numbers of course…).
Making plans for Birthday’s during lockdown is also incredibly difficult! We weren’t sure whether this lockdown period would be extended until last week’s announcement from our PM. Even though the lockdown will come to an end the night before my birthday, going out just feels too god damn risky.
We love eating out to eat when we’re not in a pandemic, but we want to be able to go out and eat safely and not worry about coming into contact with the virus just before Christmas.
My boyfriend had looked to book a day/night away for my birthday like he did last year, but everywhere is being really flaky about the terms and conditions and being pretty damn rigid on not giving refunds if we had to cancel due to another lockdown and/or having to cancel if we came into contact with the virus.
So this year, it looks as though it’s going to be a Whatsapp video call with the family in the morning, and then chill time and a take away with my boyfriend for the rest of the day. To be fair, as much as I’d love to be spending the night away, as long as I’m with him (and I don’t need to cook!) we will still make it a special day.
Boris’ Christmas plans
So Boris has gone and put his size 10’s into our Christmas plans. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually oppose the Government’s plans for the festive season. I’m actually grateful they have been good enough to review how we can spend Christmas albeit equally as annoyed that other religious festivities and holidays haven’t had the same leniency.
For those of you reading who are not familiar with the UK’s Christmas ‘rules’, for a 5 day window, 3 households are allowed to form a bubble.
With mum and dad hosting Christmas (1 household), my brother and his boyfriend living around the corner from them (household no. 2), and not wanting my Grandad and Uncle to be alone on Christmas day (household no. 3), that leaves us without anyone to bubble with.
To be fair, it was my suggestion that my Grandad should have a place in their bubble over me. He’s such a sociable person and he’s getting older, plus lockdown has been tough for him. I’d much rather him have my place at the dinner table, knowing that he will have company, and will be looked after and well fed.
My boyfriend’s also unable to go home and see his family this year. Although it would’ve been lovely to have a family Christmas this year, I am really looking forward to us making our own special memories this year. As I was in India last Christmas, this will be our first one in the same country as each other, and I’m determined to make it a Christmas we won’t forget.
For those of you new to Thanksgiving, this is an American holiday celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November. It dates back to the 1600’s, when a group of European’s known as Pilgrims, invited the Native American Indian’s to join them for a feast. The Native American Indian’s had taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops the year before, and inviting them over for a feast was the Pilgrim’s way of saying thank you.
Whilst turkey is traditionally the meat of choice, we enjoyed a feast of chicken wings, thighs, pork belly, mac n cheese and cornbread! Needless to say, it’s now Sunday evening, and I still feel like a beach whale! I’m not American, but I love creating new traditions, especially when they mean something to those important people in my life.
Black Friday ‘weekend’
So Black Friday has been and gone, but hey, that doesn’t seem to matter anymore, because Black Friday now seems to last an entire weekend (if not longer)! However, as usual, I still haven’t been organised enough to make the most of the bargains. I did buy a couple of presents online this morning, neither of which had been discounted (I never have been very good at sale shopping…even in store, I head straight for the non-sale items at the back of the store where things are a bit calmer)!
I may’ve missed out on some bargains, but for me Black Friday signifies something bigger…Christmas really isn’t far away, and I now need to get my skates on!
Christmas spending will be kept to a minimum this year, but I’m really enjoying making the most of my creative streak which seems to have returned with a bang this year! So whilst presents may not be as lavish as they once were, they will be made with a sprinkle of magic and a whole lot of love instead.
Deck the Halls
I’m not sure whether it’s as a result of the pandemic, or whether it’s because I was away for Christmas last year, but my Christmas sparkle is back with a bang!
I’ve made almost all of my Christmas cards (I just have a handful left to make), I’ve made my Christmas cake; the tree went straight up this weekend after Thanksgiving; I’ve been watching Christmas movies since the middle of the month; and we took a lovely evening walk into Kingston to see how Kingstonian’s celebrate Christmas.
Even though Christmas will be different this year, I’m excited to be in suburbia, and I’m really looking forward to making Christmas dinner, something I haven’t done for at least 6 years! My Christmas food box is being added to, and I’m looking forward to baking mince pies, Christmas cookies, and decorating my Christmas cake.
All that’s left to do, is to get the mulled wine bubbling on the stove and to get the Christmas songs on, and I’ll be one sparkly and festive Mindful Gingernut!
It’s been one hell of a month It’s had it’s highs, and it’s had it’s lows.
As we head into the last month of 2020, it’s time to sit back and reflect, its time to pencil in our hopes for the New Year, and it’s time to make December a month to remember.
Are you oozing Christmas sparkle this year? How will you be spending the Christmas holidays?
The MG x