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Tis The Season

christmas tis the season horseback uk charity veterans

At HorseBack, we are keenly aware that the Christmas season may not be an unbridled time of joy and merriment and wassail for everyone. The human need to belong runs deep, and when everyone is getting into the spirit and putting up the gaudy lights and decorating the tree and you aren’t feeling any of that, the sense of being out of step with the tribe can be jarring. There is family pressure and societal pressure and peer pressure, and this can bring out the bah humbug in an otherwise kindly soul.

So, we’ve been thinking about ways to create your very own alternative Christmas. We’re going to write about those as December goes on. First of all, we’re just going to throw out a faintly different perspective.

If Christmas is not your bag – either generally, because it has unhappy memories or because it simply does not go with the grain of your nature, or specifically this year, because times are tough and the last thing you need right now is manufactured jollity – play with the idea of giving yourself permission to step out.

You do not have to spend a fortune on a fancy tree or twinkly lights or endless iterations of Santa and his reindeer. You don’t have to lash yourself into fake festive spirit. You can invent something entirely new, which means something to you.

You can do this in small ways. We know someone who hates the whole tree thing. But she does understand about Christmas coming around the equinox, at the height of winter, when the earth is slumbering and the leaves and grass are not growing and the light is in short supply. So, instead of filling the house with tinsel and glitter, she gets in great branches of eucalyptus and willow and other green things to represent rebirth and regrowth. It might be that instead of going to the shops and buying stars and angels, you simply get yourself a plant, so you can look at that and think of life and the spring to come.

We know something else who rather dreads all the traditional blow-out foods and instead uses the Christmas season to treat herself with healthy, clean foods. Instead of the usual festival of stodgy carbohydrates and sugary confections, she’ll make beautiful stews loaded with vegetables and make sure that she’s drinking enough water, so that she avoids the seasonal bloat.

Going all in on Christmas is delightful for some people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Coming up with new, more soothing ideas, inventing new traditions of your very own, allowing yourself to say no to the things you know will drain you – these are all lovely possibilities which can change December from a dread to a delight.

So, get creative, get inventive, be bold, and listen to your own internal voices, those intuitive voices which tell you what you truly need. That’s a Christmas present you can give to yourself, and it means more than all the baubles in the world.

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We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.

We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.