Happy New Year everyone! 🥳
And like that again, another month comes to an end. December was cheerful, very busy but also relaxing. I very much enjoyed the Christmas atmosphere, even though I wish my holidays were much much longer…!
My favourite things about this month:
- The festive atmosphere: what’s not to like in fairy and sparkly lights everywhere? Sure, some of them are nicer than others, but seeing the streets, houses and shops decorated for Christmas never fails to lighten up my mood and make me happier. Even though I didn’t really feel festive this year as I barely had any time to bake Christmas cookies and decorate my house, the city was all sparkly and festive, and when you are coming home at night under a pouring rain and a really strong wind (Brussels’ usual weather), the festive lights in the streets definitely cheer you up!
- Christmas day after Christmas: since I didn’t spend Christmas in Brussels, we decided with my boyfriend that we would have our own belated Christmas when I came back. As the real-life angel that he is, he cooked an amazing Christmas dinner and decorated my house for when I came back. We watched Christmas movies, drank hot chocolate with marshmallows and basically spent the whole day in our pyjamas, which is something that I never do. It was really a perfect day and evening!
- Melted cheese and food: again, not a real surprise as I’m sure everyone here loves many types of “winter” food, especially when they involve melted cheese (and possibly potatoes). From tartiflette to raclette, I definitely did not eat lightly this month, but that’s what the winter is about, right?
My latest trips and adventures
- Lanterna Magica event: in December, we went with my boyfriend and some friends to a light show in a parc located right outside of Brussels. The parc surrounding a beautiful castle (the château de la Hulpe) was decorated with countless lights and we could walk around, admiring the light and music shows. It was very cold and muddy, and some parts were nicer than others, but I loved it! It really felt like walking in an enchanted forest and reminded me in a way of the Bright Brussels installations I had seen in November!
- Brussels Christmas market: okay, Brussels is no Vienna, and its Christmas market(s) don’t compare to the Austrian ones, but it was still very nice. I actually went twice, the first time to try all the food, and the second one to buy a few things, mostly (if not only) tea. The atmosphere was warm and festive, and there were actually little huts and lights all around the city centre, so it was pretty big as well!
- Going to Italy: this year, unlike the past few years, I went to Italy to see my family for Christmas. I couldn’t see everyone but got to spend some days in Rome before Christmas, then in a smaller city with my closer family during the holidays. It was nice and chill, there was plenty of delicious food and two cats to cuddle. I read, watched movies, went on walks, took pictures of the cats… on repeat. It was definitely a much-needed break!
Hobbies and distractions:
- Reading: right before leaving I finally finished the Silmarillion by Tolkien and loved it! It is a bit slow-paced at times but absolutely beautiful. I also read Lingo by Gaston Dorren, which talks about a bunch of European languages and their peculiarities. It’s an easy and very interesting read, even though he doesn’t dive too much into detail.
- Watching Christmas movies: when I came back from Italy, I watched the Christmas-classics The Holiday and Love Actually with my boyfriend, and we also started a Norwegian Christmas series called Home for Christmas. Watching Christmas movies always puts me in a very festive mood and just makes this time of the year so special. Do you have a go-to Christmas movie that you always watch – or one that you just discovered?
- Reviewing and planning: with the New Year approaching (and now under way), December was also a month of reflection, reviewing and planning. I put into good use my planners, notebooks and cute pens and went through everything that happened in the past year and how things went, then moved over to setting intentions and goals for the new year. This is all quite new to me as I didn’t really use to set up “resolutions”, but I do have some goals that I want to work on, so the post-Christmas break was the perfect time to check how I am going to reach them!
These past few months were hectic to say the least, and I didn’t really find time or make the time to be more present on this blog. I used the excuse of these monthly reviews to stay even a little bit active in here, but there are also so many other things I want to share, and I hope I will publish even a tiny bit more regularly in the new year. For now, I don’t beat myself up for it too much, as I have also been doing a lot of other things, but I’m hopeful for the future!
Looking forward to:
- A new year: I hope it will bring everyone a lot of peace, health and happiness, and this fresh start that 2022 brought was very much needed for me. I have many things I want to do this year, and I will definitely try to bring you along with me. Let’s see how things go!
How was December for you? What are you looking forward to? Did you set New Year’s resolutions?
Published last year in December:Discovering Ghent
– Christmas markets in Vienna