Welcome to 2020. The bells jingled, Santa has put his sleigh away and our Christmas spruces are in the garden recycling. This may make people feel down as Christmas tends to come and go so fast. But it is also an opportunity to revel in the wonderful memories and take a moment to feel grateful for another year of Christmas cheer.
It has become quite a tradition for the team to turn our first days back into an opportunity to share of favourite memories and gifts. It’s also a chance to set our intention for 2020 and share our resolutions for a great year ahead.
We're loving everyone’s responses and feeling quite inspired by the team’s commitment to reflect and move into 2020 with a positive, focused and fun attitude. Here’s to a fab 2020!
My favourite Christmas gift this year has to be a voucher my husband and children got me for a deep tissue massage. This meant a lot to me as my husband took the time to go to my salon (with the kids in tow, which is never easy) and get the voucher for the exact massage he knows I love, which I think is really thoughtful. It is also a lovely treat to look forward to when life is crazy busy in 2020.
This gift also lends itself nicely to my New Year's resolution, which is to practice more self-care. I want to decrease my screen time, go out walking with my family, start reading again and build activities into my lifestyle which are beneficial to my overall wellbeing!
I’m very lucky to have received lots of lovely gifts this year but my favourite was a hand painted horse figurine from my niece. We went horse riding in the summer, and this was to say thank you whilst also being a Christmas present. She’s a super talented little artist and this has pride of place on my mantlepiece.
I also received a book containing 365 Buddhist reflections and prayers. My New Year’s resolution is to read one every morning before I reach for my phone and aim to set this as my intention for the day. The book is designed to help understand our minds and provide a guide on how to become a better person. Can’t say better than that!
My favourite gift(s) this year had to be my Secret Santa present from my (not so) wee cousin Ella. Ella is up there with one of my favourite people, and when she based my Secret Santa gifts around my answers to the Clearbox 5 Questions – she won Christmas. My favourite gift is my life-size cut out of David Attenborough, the man that I used to ask my mum why he couldn’t be my Granda because I thought he’d tell the best bedtime stories, and who made it my childhood dream to work in a zoo. I even have a desktop version so that I can be inspired daily.
I don’t wholly buy into New Year’s resolutions, as I think we can and should make positive resolutions more often. 2019 was filled with highs and lows, and so I’m determined to approach this year with an appreciation for the peaks and a conviction to weather the troughs. I always want to make each year better than the last, and as it’s my 30th year, I’m going to make sure this one’s killer! Oh... one thing…I am going to become certified in sign language this year. Happy New Year everyone :)
I have to pick two presents on the favourites list for this year - one from my mum and one from my dad. Let’s start off with Linda - she bought my brother, my brother in law and me a go-karting voucher which we’re planning to cash in on shortly. I’m not very good on the karts, but I do have an overwhelming disregard for my own safety when I get in one of those things, so that always gives me an edge. My dad bought me a David Bowie book to go along with all my other David Bowie books. This one is mainly pictures and not a lot of words, which is about right for a man of my alarmingly low level of intelligence.
My New Year’s resolution is to continue to convince myself and the world that Oasis will reform. I’ve said it every year since 2009. Hopefully if I keep flinging that story about, it’ll stick at some point. 2021 would be a good year for it. I’m very slightly starting to lose hope, but I believe the better LG gets and the more NG fades away, the more chance we have. I just wish Liam would stop slagging off Noel’s wife on Twitter though. Not helping, William John Paul.
I have two favourite gifts! The first is tickets to see the West End musical, Cabaret. I love everything about a musical from the theatre setting itself to the choreography, the costumes and of course, the iconic songs, so this is the perfect present for me. The second is a soap saver bag. We’re really trying to reduce single-use plastic in our house and one of our ways of doing this is by steering clear of liquid shower gels and hand washes, switching instead to good old-fashioned bars of soap. Popping a bar of soap inside this bag keeps it intact, makes it last longer and also has a lovely exfoliating texture. What’s not to love?
One of my favourite things to do over the festive break is to sit at my dining table with a cup of (peppermint) tea, light a relaxing candle, then open my new diary and write my goals for the year ahead. This year, however, I’ve decided to do things a little differently and instead of setting my usual 10-12 big goals, which often aren’t met if I’m being honest, I will set myself three realistic monthly goals to meet. The idea is that I’ll build new good habits each month that will then carry through for the rest of the year. January’s goals are to switch my phone to airplane mode from 10pm-7am each day, learn to cook two new dishes and finally, read one of the books I got for Christmas. Watch this space…
My favourite present under my tree this Christmas has to be a fresh new pair of black Chuck Taylor Converse, which I ADORE. I’ve had the same pair since I was in school and they were worn in and literally had turned green as opposed to black (proper vintage looking) - Santa must have noticed!
One of my resolutions this year is to do 12 things I haven’t done yet that I always say I will do. The first thing on my list is to get a tattoo - hopefully my mum won’t read this, if so - sorry mum!
Once again everyone was far too good to me this Christmas and all of my presents were truly lovely. My favourite gift was without a doubt my Chillies water bottle. I have wanted one for a long time, but I tend to struggle with spending that amount of money on myself, when there are less expensive alternatives available. However, my significant other proved to be very receptive to what I thought were extremely subtle hints. I am happy to tell you that so far, the bottle has not disappointed. I have tried and tested, and I can confirm that water does in fact remain ice cold for at least 24-hours. However, I am yet to test its thermal capabilities. To top it off, the bottle couldn’t be more on brand for Clearbox - a delightful shade of turquoise.
Post-Christmas, the question of New Year’s resolutions always pops up. If I’m honest, I would just like to be the best version of myself this year - which naturally includes some resolutions related to healthy eating and exercise. I have also pledged to find more time to read and get away from the many screens in my life.
Santa was very kind to me this Christmas and I am feeling very grateful, not just for the gifts I received but also for the quality time I spent with my family and friends. That was definitely a cherished gift from this holiday season. I was also very excited to receive ski lessons from my husband. It is something that I’ve wanted to learn to do for a long time, so to be able to take a few lessons before we plan a trip will definitely give me the confidence boost that I need to FINALLY head to the ski slopes.
Regarding New Year’s resolutions, I am not a huge fan of them because I find them to be quite a fleeting fad, but I do like setting an intention for myself for the year ahead – whether that is to prioritise self-care, be kind, nurture my relationships or face my fears with confidence. It is important to constantly self-reflect and check in on yourself on a regular basis to see areas for improvement, where you may need help from someone and also celebrate moments when you’ve done something fabulous!
I am incredibly grateful for all the lovely gifts I got this year, but my favourite has to be the Bon Appétit t-shirt my brother bought for me. It has white writing on a white background, so it’s the perfect everyday t-shirt that nods to my niche interest in a cast of friends making food in a test kitchen without making me look super keen. Sam is very thoughtful when it comes to gifts (and in general), and it was my only real surprise this year, so I’m pleased!
I don’t really do resolutions; I just try to do or change things as they come to mind. Saying that though, I’d like to read even more books. No surprises there.
My favourite gift that Santa brought is a trip to my favourite city - New York, vvv-very excited! We’re staying in Tribeca which is a part of NYC I haven’t explored much so looking forward to seeing a different part of NYC. I’ve already booked a lot of the restaurants and activities so I will come back with tons of recommendations for anyone looking to hop across the pond for a bite of the big apple.
I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Starting a new year shouldn’t be the only time you try to change something/ do things differently. Every day is an opportunity to start that thing you’ve always wanted to do or make that change that you’ve always put off!
I would say my favourite gift was a purse I got from my Gran. It was the only thing I asked for this year but I didn’t specify the exact purse I wanted - turns out my Gran knew more about what I wanted than what I did because she got me a beautiful blue, soft leather one that was just perfect.
I never make New Year’s resolutions because I don’t believe in them and also, I feel January/ Post Christmas is a hard-enough time for everyone without adding extra pressure to change yourself. Instead, I take the time to focus on taking care of myself after a busy run up to Christmas, I’ll plan a night with my family doing something fun or have a planned night in watching a film. I see January as more of a hibernation month for regrouping and settling for you to emerge, recharged and ready for the spring.
My favourite Christmas gift this year is my Garmin watch from my husband Stuart. He definitely got it for me out of love and not because I keep borrowing his when I want to go for a run….I love being able to track my steps, heart rate, sleep pattern and exercise. Plus, it looks pretty so win-win!
I think resolutions get a bad rep, with many thinking they’re a waste of time and energy as most are broken within a few weeks. However, I think that if setting goals and targets for yourself focuses your mind and kick starts you to do something for YOU, then it can’t be a bad thing! I haven’t officially set myself any hard and fast targets, but I do have a goal this year to free up more time - time for me, time to spend with loved ones and time to reflect and plan.