Saturday, 12 December 2015

Appreciating Christmas

With just another four and a half days to go until I finally break up for my long-awaited Christmas break, it's fair to say that excitement is gradually bubbling up like a simmering pot of gravy; as each day passes in a rain-soaked breeze, festive spirit warms up even more of my room, which has now firmly established my appreciation of the festive holidays awaiting me. Presents! Food! Films! And so many lie-ins that my head will literally explode with extra sleep! What more could I ask for from my favourite time of year? The possibility of sitting terrifying exams - albeit less grotesque than seeing a live spider being eaten on TV last Sunday which, when coupled with my consumption of a hearty roast dinner, is hardly an award-winning combination - would be a particularly special treat, though I'm not banking on it...

However, one thing that I can most definitely rely on is getting a much-needed rest from exams, revision and homework for a little while: a present that, unlike the gorgeous penguin jumper that sent me into a fit of ecstatic squeals of adoration when I saw it on the H&M website the other week (hint, hint!), cannot be wrapped in lashings of teddy bear paper or stylised with a shimmery bow. Without a trace of amusement in my words, I really have needed a break from my studies for weeks because the workload is constantly increasing like adverts for overcooked turkey and scrawny-looking vegetables gaining more airspace on TV; in some ways, coming to terms with the spine-chilling fact that my exams are only six months away from taking place is slowly freaking me out. Big time!!!

Obviously, panic is only a natural emotion and, if I didn't feel at all concerned about having to sit approximately twenty exams within the period of six to seven weeks next summer, even more concern would be stapled into my already-fluttering stomach. That's not to say that I'm as thrilled as my cats receiving a new toy to play with to their hearts' content (in the form of my used cotton wool buds!) about my mini mental meltdown about establishing the paths I take in my life within less than half a year's time because, like all Year 11s across the country, I'm secretly sick about the thought of undergoing such an intrusive, stressful and dramatic process in order to get to my ideal destination: sixth form.

Although I sometimes think that one needs to suffer in order to enjoy the good things in life, I don't necessarily apply this belief to my own circumstances of sitting a ridiculous amount of exams - as whiny and reminiscent of a six year old throwing a tantrum in the toy aisle at Teso might sound, it's not fair!!! Still, neither I nor the millions of teenagers in this country possess the power to change the inevitable, which is sitting our GCSEs next year. And, just for at least a little while (as my Science teacher has decided to dump three past papers to complete over the holidays due to many people in m class getting U grades in their mock exams - quite unjust that I must be punished for their laziness, too), I want to get wrapped up in festive fever and remind myself to relax a little bit more.

Of course, getting decent grades in my mocks, controlled assessments, coursework, homework and my actual exams next year is my number one priority, yet there are numerous things that cannot be measured by letters listed on a piece of paper that I'll receive on Results Day next August. What will be among those things? Happiness. Without a good-sized dose of happiness in my life, I will certainly struggle to leap through the final hurdle before I sit and survive the gruelling exam season. Why? At the end of the day, I'm not an exam machine - and neither are all of my friends and peers who await the same fate as me. As if I want the day when I broke down in tears over struggling to revise the menstrual cycle to be my most defining moment of 2015! And yeah, of all the subjects to get stressed about, it had to be about periods - how I have such an ability to indulge in irony during my saddest moments!

Therefore, I absolutely cannot wait to kickstart the festivities next week, which will be celebrated by my starting the long, yet worthwhile process of making my annual Christmas cake, complete with thick layers of marzipan (giving me an ideal excuse for eating hand-sized balls of it when no one is looking in my direction!) and beautifully plumped up dried fruit that is rich with brandy (by the way, the closest that I will be getting to alcohol during the festive season). Beyond that, I'll probably rewatch all of the Christmas films that I've ever seen because, like stuffing yourself with more sausage rolls than one could possibly eat over the course of a year within five minutes, why not?

Though, if you are wondering, I'm not that fussed about eating the 'snacky' foods such as crisps (despite eating a bag of ready-salted at school yesterday, but that was a very special treat!) or canapes this year, preferring to eat the homemade stuff as it not only tastes a million times better, but it is usually healthier, too. Besides, as all long-suffering sisters will know, once your brothers reaches adolescence, you will stand a very slim chance of eating anything remotely 'unhealthy' - as he will have eaten everything apart from the crumbs first! No wonder that I'm left with little choice other than to hide biscuits and chocolate underneath my bed...

All in all, I'm increasingly warming up to the prospect of Christmas arriving on my doorstep in less than a fortnights' time - despite being closer to an adult than a child nowadays (as I'm less than two months away from turning 17 - yikes!!!), I still share the love and wonder of my seven year old self when Christmas is here as it is the best escape from the everyday hassles and going-ons in life. Just another few days until the holidays are here!

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