This Christmas will be the first Christmas in my boys lives that they will not be sharing their Dad with a restaurant. This time last year I spent about two days all up with my kids and on those two days I was grumpy and exhausted. I still had loads of fun but boy was it tough.
This year I don’t have that all-consuming ball of stress surrounding me (it’s been replaced with a more manageable ball of stress that has an ‘off’ switch) and I’ve finally been able to experience what perhaps many of you already know, and that is that the festive season is all about spending quality time with the people who are important to you.
I’ve also been given a different perspective on things – before, trivial things such as a staff member not turning up for a shift seemed more important than building great childhood experiences with my kids. I had the ‘there will be other chances’ type of mentality but I realise now that there will never be another chance at these precious family moments.
Now I don’t want you to read this and think I’m using this column as some kind of confessional, rather I want to communicate to you how a small but fundamental change has added a richness and depth to my life. It has also allowed me to see with more clarity just how stressed we all get around this time of year thinking about what presents to get and for who, what food to cook, which friends to visit, will that ‘thing’ get done in time, the travel plans, it’s all too expensive, too busy, too hard and, most importantly, not fun.
My Christmas wish for everyone this year is that you get time to share the company of those you love and you take time to recharge yourself. I hope you will eat too much of something delicious and relish your gluttony guilt-free. I hope you get to have a glass of bubbles or a beer before lunch time at least once over your break and that you hug as many people as you can. I hope you get to laugh so hard your face hurts and that you catch a little bit too much sun.
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year!