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How to have yourself a guilt-free Christmas

By Bethan Boyden

December is undoubtedly the most indulgent month of the year. We spend multiple hazy

days drunk before 12 and snacking until we’re bursting at the literal seams (RIP my 2018 best jeans).

Christmas Day is usually an event and a half, but this year the pressure to have the nicest day possible will be at an all-time high, mainly because of the swirling storm of a disaster it’s attempting to conceal.

This Christmas is obviously going to different because, while we can dream about not

having to put up with our more annoying extended family, seeing them has never actually been


The festivity of Christmas was meant to be that one twinkling fairy light left amid an otherwise dark and gloomy jumble of self-isolation, endless confusing announcements from No.10, and a severe lack of days spent in the pub. But now, for so many of us, the dinner table will be less crowded, the living room will be much quieter and we’re all trying to make the best of a bad situation.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the long-old pressure of festive indulgence continues to peek through. The mince pies, the endless tubs of chocolate, a glass of prosecco or two. All this indulgence is what it's all about... until the 31st that is. Anything after then is then met with instant guilt, shame and probably a telling off by half the nation’s mothers.

The question is- will we all manage to eat enough Quality Street to fill the void of not seeing our family this year? Probably not.

But should you feel guilty about trying to enjoy your Christmas for what it is and having treat or two? Absolutely not!

To me, it's obvious: indulge as much or as little as you damn want because, as years go, 2020 has been an ABSOLUTE SHOCKER.

This Christmas day, revel in your own indulgence but leave the guilt that usually follows it in the back of the cupboard with the rest of the ugly decorations. There should be no guilt because surviving the last nine months of this apocalypse is an absolute achievement and we have all earned a day of eating and doing exactly what we like.

Feel like treating yourself with an extra piece of yule log? Go ahead!

Feel like spending the whole day in your pyjamas instead of dressing up? You do you!

No matter how big or small you go with the celebrations this year, remember not to beat yourself up afterwards. January does not have to be the month of the big diet, or the crazy workout plan- unless you want it to.

I’m all for fresh starts, lord knows we all deserve one after this year, but nothing you have done or eaten over the course of the last nine months means you have to pay for it or punish yourself when the New Year rolls around.

A lot of us don’t look or feel the same as we did at the beginning of this year, but our bodies

are built to fluctuate and HELLO- pandemic??

It’s not been a normal year so don’t expect yourself to look or feel normal either; your body has carried you through a devastating period of time and it deserves whatever you want to put into it - be it a perfectly balanced diet or two-thirds of the Fox’s biscuit tin.

It’s so easy to equate weight with self-worth but there is zero correlation between the

two. Indulge yourself by celebrating everything you’ve achieved in the last year; so many people

picked up new hobbies, started small businesses, finished degrees, adapted to working from home,

or even just kept themselves going when it would have been so easy to give up. Your only

responsibility is to celebrate this Christmas however you like.

Be kind to yourself and remember, whatever you decide, you’ve survived the year from hell and you should be extremely proud.

Have a very Merry Christmas x

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