It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or so everyone tries to tell us anyway.

Now, personally I adore Christmas. I love the build-up, the excitement, the food! I just turn into a big kid in the weeks leading up to it, and, I think, for the magic to remain so magical, that’s exactly the mentality you need to adopt.

Of course, I absolutely understand the ridiculous mass consumerism that’s now overtaken the fundamental meaning of Christmas, as my good friend, Abhishek Gattani, relishes in reminding me at every given opportunity, with a pinch of salt I may add. But, I refuse to fall foul of this and love nothing more than stripping back the paper and bows of modern Christmas in favour of remembering what it’s all about. So, I’m going to take you through some of my favourite aspects.

Religion.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no devout Christian, attending mass every Sunday. But, it is lovely to think of the nativity story actually happening. But take it loosely. People believing in the good and the pureness of a newborn king, bringing him gifts and all coming together to celebrate from different beliefs and walks of life.

Children.

Is there anything that fills your heart with joy more than the look of utter happiness of a child on Christmas day? The absolute embodiment of everything that Christmas should be about. The innocent belief in Santa Claus, the joy of knowing he’s deemed their behaviour ‘nice’ and brought them some presents as a reward. OK, I might have just made it sound a little weird there, but, you get what I mean. It’s just that magic of wonder. Being a parent when they’re old enough to understand what’s happening is equally as amazing. You are a part of the magic then. Playing a vital part in the illusion.

Family.

Extending on from the importance of children at Christmas, is the wider family tree. Whether yours consists of many or few branches, repaired branches, young or old, it doesn’t matter. Whatever your definition of family is, I see it as a collection of people who play a vital part in benefitting your life, bringing love and happiness, whether through blood ties or chance meetings. Christmas is an excuse to refer to my first subheading; the gathering of and celebrating, with a group of people. Take the time to include those you don’t see often, those who might feel isolated, those who may not have a family of their own to celebrate with.

Food.

I am a self-confessed greedy monster. I love food. I especially love the things you can get away with over the festive period. All these special treats and indulgences that only rear their head for approximately 2.5 weeks around the end of December. When there’s zero judgement about starting your day with chocolate, pouring out a tipple at lunchtime or tucking into your third helping of a turkey based meal in one day! I love it and I fully support it! Embrace it, it seems to be one of the only times you can get away with it.

However you chose to celebrate, or not celebrate, you can take a little something from each of the things I’ve said to consider this winter. The concept of family, the celebrating, the indulging in food and drink, the magic of being a child. Smile and be merry, it might just make someone’s December better.