Every shop is decked out with sparkly things and fairy lights. Every song has jingling bells in the background. The kids at school start telling me their plans for the holidays and what they think they will get from Santa. The house starts to smell like biscuits constantly. To quote Andy Williams, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” It’s Christmas!!!!!
Fun fact: The name of the province I live in has Christmas in the name. Natal means Christmas in Portuguese. I live in the place of the Zulu people, discovered on Christmas day by Vasco de Gama, the Portuguese explorer – KwaZulu-Natal. How cool is that?!
Christmas is my absolute favourite part of every year. There is something about it that just makes everything seem magical and happy! This year, I decided to really celebrate Christmas and do my first ever Blogmas! Before I really get into the festive swing of things, I wanted to start the month with a gratitude post. This year has been one of a lot of growth, even though there have not been any huge changes in my life. So, these are some of the things that I am grateful for at this point of the year.
I am hugely grateful for some of the opportunities I’ve had to grow. I had to resign from two jobs this year so that I could focus on my salary-paying job and my brand and solo singing career. Both caused me a huge amount of stress, both in doing the jobs and leaving them. In doing this, I learnt the value of saying no. There’s having a full plate, then there’s having a Christmas lunch kind of full plate – it usually makes you feel uncomfortable afterwards. Along with learning this lesson, I’ve learned the value of self-care and taking time out to listen to what God is saying and what your heart is saying.
My family and my man are always on my gratitude list, because they’re always worth mentioning. Through my self-inflicted dramas, through sadness, defeat, joy and laughter, they are ALWAYS my biggest and most valuable support system. I am SO blessed to have them as my team. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. Literally feeling tearful as I write this because my heart just overflows with the love I have for them.
I have been so blessed to make a whole bunch of amazing new friends this year. I’ve had such a fun year getting to know new people and trying out new hobbies and activities. I have friends at work, friends from shows, friends at dance class, friends at camera club, friends at church and friends who have been friends forever. WOW!!!!! I’ve realised that friends come in all forms and from all around me, even in the most unexpected ways! I am grateful for the role that each and every person plays in my life. I can’t possibly name every person, but I do try to make sure that people know how much I care about them!
Lastly, I am grateful for God’s constant presence in my life. This year was hard in the challenges I faced, but God carried me through on His perfect love. I could write a whole post on the exact ways that God was there for me, but it would take until next Christmas.
One of the things that I try to do every Christmas is just to look around and acknowledge the blessings in my life. So often, we take things for granted, and we forget that Christmas isn’t a joyful time for everyone. That’s why I am starting this festive season with a grateful heart. What are the things that you are grateful for this year?