Aladdin (2019) – My Review

I grew up in the 90s, and Disney songs were the soundtrack to my childhood.

Like everyone else, I was in awe at the rapid fire, keep up if you can, jokes for everyone, performance of Robin Williams in the 1992 animated tale of Aladdin.
I was romanced by ‘A Whole New World’, cooed at Abu & the Magic Carpet, and feared the evil Jafar.

As the 2019 remake of Aladdin, is not the first of the Disney remakes, it’s taught me to go into these movies with an open mind.
They generally have the same storyline and songs, but sometimes add little bits to the storyline and every now and again they add a new song. I’ve learnt to just kind of go with it.

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The beginning of the movie starts slightly differently to the animation but has the same kind of prepare for the story vibe and jumps into ‘Arabian Nights’ with the opening scenes and I have to admit it got me a little excited and feeling the vibes of the movie.
Fast forward to ‘One Jump Ahead’ and the quick paced scene didn’t quite live up to the animation.

From there, I was entertained throughout every scene. I was captivated by the fantastically colourful Royal outfits, mesmerized by the beauty of Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, fixated with the amazing dances, and won over by Will Smith’s version of the genie.

Will Smith must have, by far, had the most difficult role. He was the one who had to follow in the footsteps of the late great Robin Williams, who had brought an essence of Disney magic to the 1992 genie.
I’ll be honest, I do like Will Smith, but I wasn’t sure of what I thought of a blue Will Smith trying to play a genie in Aladdin.
My overall opinion? He did a job better than I could have hoped! I don’t think there would have been anyone able to follow on the footsteps better.
He played it true to the original but with his own kind of twist and the writing was all right for him.
We of course know he can sing already, but when he began ‘Friend Like Me’ it was going to be the deciding moment. The fact that I laughed out loud at one part of this, I knew he’d done the best possible job anyone could have done.

I liked Will Smith as the genie. I enjoyed his take and believed the character.

The only character which I didn’t really feel much from is Jafar. He did not have the same evil essence that his animated counterpart did.

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The talking point of the movie is Naomi Scott.
I hadn’t ready any reviews before going to see the movie. I like to make my own mind up.
On twitter though, I had seen a lot of interest in Naomi Scott’s portrayal of Jasmine.
Having seen the movie I can understand why. Disney has brought some female empowerment into the movie – most notably with the introduction of the new, relatable on so many levels, song ‘Speechless’. Her voice is on a par with her beauty.

My view is it may divide opinions but I enjoyed this modern live action version and was entertained the whole way through.
To put a percentage score on it, I’d give it 80%.

The Great Fire

One day, my mum and I went into our local town. We were only there for a short while, so I parked outside the shops on one of the main roads, where you can park for an hour for free.

When we got back to the car, the car wouldn’t start. I rang a friend who works with cars, and he immediately came out to look at it. The fix was easy… just tightening something up as there was an issue with a connection, and it had let a bit of fuel out.

Relieved that it was all fixed so quickly and that it had only been a simple issue, we went on our way to a supermarket in a nearby village.

By the time I had come out of the shop, I had begun worrying about the fuel that may have spilled out of the car… I couldn’t help but wonder, panic… How much fuel had leaked? Should we have cleaned it up? Should we have told someone?

My mum isn’t an anxiety sufferer, but with my incessant panicking, I had even convinced her that maybe we should have done something. I began wondering… who would we tell? Should we have told the fire department, would they be able to help with a clean up of a big fuel spillage?

I was worried it would set alight. It would be so easy… someone just flicking a cigarette end, not realising there was fuel on the floor. And then what? It could hurt someone really badly! And what about the other cars parked up too? It could be really bad. If there was a fire and then that spread to a parked up car…. Oh God, this could be bad!

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I told my mum I wanted to go home via the point we had been parked, and she agreed, just so that we could check it was ok, or to decide from there what we should do.

As we drove back into town, my stomach was churning – replaying every possible scenario of what might happen, who could be hurt, what the consequences would be for me. It was an accident. I never meant to hurt anyone, but nevertheless, I was responsible. I could have done something. I should have done something.

As we hit some traffic lights, we heard sirens from an emergency services vehicle of some kind. My stomach dropped. I felt absolutely sick.

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Finally, we reached the road where we had been parked, and as we drove up to it, there was absolutely no sign of where we had even been parked. Nothing. No sign at all of even the tiniest bit of fuel spillage.

The whole thing had been built up in my head. From essentially nothing, I had basically convinced myself I had neglected the safety of others and catastrophized, imagining people would be hurt and I would be in trouble.

This is anxiety. This is what it does. It does this over and over all day, every day with the smallest of things. It is exhausting. This is what it is like to live with anxiety. This is the reality of living with mental health issues, this is what it is like.

 

Positively Positive

Have you ever decided that you want to lose weight? Decided that you are going to go on a diet and you just need to decide what the start date of that diet will be?
You tell yourself every day that you need to sort your weight out, that you need to eat healthier, that you want to get into a healthy routine, that you want to shed that bit of weight you have been wanting to lose For the last couple of months? But your brain does not seem to want to co-operate?
The same brain that knows what it wants and how to get it, but the same brain that keeps putting up mental obstacles to knock your motivation and hold you back?
That is what it is like living with a mental illness and being told to ‘be happy and ‘think positive’. Our brain may know what we want, and even have ideas how to do it – but there are mental blockers In the way, holding us back, stopping us from being able to just flick a mental switch to ‘positive mode’.

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Telling someone with mental health issues to ‘think positive’ and ‘stop thinking so negatively’ is like telling a smoker to quit smoking.
We know that smoking is bad for our health, just like we know negative thoughts are bad for our mental health. The more we smoke the worse our health gets, and we know negativity breeds negativity.
We know that quitting smoking is the best thing for us and our health, just like we know thinking positively is better for mental health – but that doesn’t make it a quick fix option. The mental blockers are there preventing us from just switching that ‘positive mode’ switch.

We can try for days, weeks, months, years to get in to ‘diet mode’ and not succeed in losing that weight because of the mental blockers we keep fighting.
We can try for days, weeks, months, years to get in to ‘quitting mode’ and not succeed in quitting smoking because of the mental blockers we keep fighting.
We can try for days, weeks, months, years to get into ‘positive mode’ and not succeed in feeling positive because of the mental blockers we keep fighting.

But often, suddenly, without anything being different, other than the mental blockers seem to lift – the stars seem to align and we succeed to put ourselves into ‘diet mode’, ‘quitting mode’, ‘positive mode’. It feels like we are fighting to the same degree we were before, but the mental blockers are gone.

And for a while we start to lose weight, stop smoking, thinking positively.
But just like we can end up putting weight back on, or start smoking again, the negative thoughts can creep back in again.

It is a lifelong battle.

That is the reality of mental health issues.

That is why telling someone to “think positive” can great more of a negative effect.

Just because they aren’t being positive does not mean they are not trying to fight a hard mental battle.

Favourite Females on Twitter

I have mentioned before that, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, I have a Thursday Theme which is a day I dedicate to a particular theme and post tweets all day relating to that theme.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/My_SimpleMind

When I was approached by @Womenwithgifts https://twitter.com/womenwithgifts about teaming up for a Thursday Theme it felt only right to dedicate a day to our favourite females!

So that’s what this week’s theme is about!

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For each of my themes I use a hashtag that relates to the theme each week – Checkout the hashtags #ThursdayTheme and #FavouriteFemales so that you don’t miss any of the posts!

As part of the theme of #FavouriteFemales I asked my followers on Twitter which females they admired / liked to follow on Twitter.

Here are some of their answers:

@MaddDawgDailey’s (https://twitter.com/madddawgdailey) recommendations were:

@heldbygel https://twitter.com/heldbygel

@Plgrimnow https://twitter.com/plgrimnow

@Suziewong110271 https://twitter.com/suziewong110271

@PinksterC_87 https://twitter.com/PinksterC_87

@CrazyQdilla https://twitter.com/CrazyQdilla

@katelaurg https://twitter.com/katelaurg

He recommends them because “These are extremely strong females who have all experienced different forms of serious trauma and are letting their voices being heard everyday while helping others too.”

 

@Son68w https://twitter.com/son68w recommends:

@J_Ali8991 / @annetted6 / @UserNotFound084 / @CarolKettley / @Catherine3LLLs / @vicki_lawson5 / @familywebster4 / @VodkaGothBitch / @Paula_bigbush / @toonarby

“Because they all make me laugh and we’ve all got the same daft sense of humour”

 

@Derbyshireduck https://twitter.com/Derbyshireduck also has a number of females she recommends to follows for various reasons:

“My #favouritefemales

@yorkshiremumof4

-very helpful positive advice about blogging.

@imogen_chloe27

-talented writer& an intelligent thinker.

@blog_fibro

-stoic& inspirational

@BlanketFortBlog

-fun& makes me smile

@JewelleryTales

– so hardworking.”

 

And me personally? Well I follow SO many amazing inspiring females it is hard to choose though I do have to say:

After meeting them through the work we do for the @MHCrisisAngels https://twitter.com/MHCrisisAngels, 2 of the most influential women on Twitter for me have to be:

@Plgrimnow https://twitter.com/plgrimnow

@Suziewong110271 https://twitter.com/suziewong110271

I could write pages on why but I will try to sum it up in as few words as possible:

– They are caring

– They are real and honest

– They are passionate

– They are great mothers and role models

– They are dedicated & committed to helping others

– They are up for a laugh and have a great balance between taking life seriously bit not too seriously

– I have learnt from them & they are open to learning themselves

– They are true friends

 

So, which females do you like to follow on Twitter?

80s Movies

For anyone who doesn’t follow me on Twitter, is a new follower, or just missed it – for a while I have been doing regular Theme posts on Thursdays (#ThemeThursday).

The idea is that a topic is selected (sometimes with the help of my followers and sometimes my personal preference) and I post related tweets all day on that subject. This may be memes, gifs, article links, YouTube links etc.

Themes I have had so far have included:
• The Walking Dead (#TWDThursday)
• Game of Thrones (#ThronesThursday)
• Disney (#DisneyThursday)
• 90s Nostalgia (#90sNostalgia)
• Harry Potter (#PotterThursday)

…& many more!

Some of these were successful enough that I may have future repeats with new material and new followers included.
I will also be running #BuffyThursday again as it has to be cut short on the day unfortunately, so look out for that soon.

To kick off 2019 I decided to have my first #ThemeThursday of the year as #80sMoviesThursday (inspired partially by my husband’s love of 80s movies).

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As someone who was born in the 80’s, they were a big part of my childhood and I remember going to the local video shop with my mum to buy the Little Mermaid which was from 1989.

As a child I watched movies such as Back the Future, ET, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters… I remember going on a school trip to see The Land Before Time at the cinema, and I remember other animations such as an American Tail, and puppet movies like Labyrinth. I remember being both entertained and yet quite disturbed watching Return to Oz (scared by the Wheelers for one).
I remember as a child I went to my friends house wherr we were unsupervised and she introduced to the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’, as well as being scared when we sat and watched ‘Poltergeist’ together.

Growing up I watched ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ and learnt the secrets behind what made Freddie Krueger so scary (someone my older brother had always taunted me about).

I asked my Twitter followers about their favourite 80s Movies – running a poll (#SM80sMoviesPoll) and also asking them to comment their favourite movies and gifs.

Here is what some of them said…

@KrochetxKorner said “The Nightmare on Elm Street. I mean it’s a classic horror film, one of the very first I watched. I was born early 80’s so didn’t get to see it properly until mid 90’s, but I loved it from start to finish.”

@LivvieBrundle responded “oooh um… The Never Ending Story. The story is enthralling & thought provoking. it says a lot about innocence & imagination. The puppet/makeup fx are fantastic. The scene with the horse always gets me & the gmork, with those teeth & eyes… & words, is terrifying. ”

@donnafarrell43 replied with a ‘Dirty Dancing’ gif

@Carly_marie85 is also a Dirty Dancing fan “My favourite film since I was a kid! Obviously bcuz I thought Patrick Swayze was hot in this film! ”

@79_Alexandra is likes a lot of 80s movies, saying”There’s ALOT of really good ones so a tricky one to choose, but I will go with ‘The Breakfast Club’…The SoundTrack is pretty awesome (it’s in my car at the mo) and Some moments are Laugh out loud funny.”

What @PaHe56435751 likes about ‘The Breakfast Club’ is “This is a great movie which shows how we can get along even if we are really different from each other”

@MaddDawgDailey told me his favourite 80s movie is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ “because it has pretty much everything u could want in an adventurous blockbuster movie. IMO it’s the darkest, most emotional and most engaging movie in the franchise and of all of the big selling 80s movies I’ve seen or in general. Plus it’s the debut of Yoda and has the biggest and most intense cliffhangers in any trilogy. “I am your father”? Nuff said. And while Han Solo’s death in Force Awakens was very sad, him being frozen will always be the hardest moment to watch in a SWs movie…”

 

You can check out some of the related tweets here:

You can also check out my 80s movies polls by checking out the hashtag on Twitter: #SM80sMoviesPoll

Whatever your favourite 80s movies is, it seems one thing is for sure – the movies of this decade were certainly appreciated by many.

What is your favourite 80s movie? Do you prefer another decade for movies?

The Millennial Life

How many times have we heard the negative things about ‘Millenials’?
They get such a bad reputation that even people who I know that fall under the Millennial generation try and deny they are a Millennial – simply because it is a label, and a lifestyle reputation they have no connection with.

So who are these ‘Millennials’? Generally a Millennial is classed as someone who was born between the early 1980s to the mid to late 1990s.

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We are a generation who were raised in a time where it was still ok to play in the street and ride to the park, but where we had an array of TV shows at our finger tips on Sky TV or Cable; A generation who adapted quickly from the adjustment from video cassette movies to DVD players; The first generation to perfect their text typing speeds. We grew up in a world where Beanie Babies would one day be worth something, Pogs were banned in playgrounds due to them being a ‘gambling concern’, and where we were amazed that we could teach Furbies how to speak. In our childhood, the biggest worries were knowing who loved Orange soda, memorizing the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and remembering to feed our Tamagotchis so they didn’t die!

With the introduction of the internet and home computers becoming the norm, we were also the first generation to excel at online communication – waiting for someone to finish on the landline so that we can use the old dial-up connection to join chat rooms, log onto MSN Messenger and perfect our ‘MySpace’ layouts.

We had it all. We had everything. And we were reminded of this.
In the UK, growing up we had exams around every corner – SATS every few years, GCSEs, A-levels… We had the best opportunities and we were expected to succeed and being constantly tested to see how we performed.

We are expected to succeed academically so that we can succeed in our careers – so that we can excel and be the best we can be.
We are expected to have some kind of recognised profession co tributing to society – Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers.

Without the qualifications, will people want to employ you? Yet with the qualifications but no full time work experience, will people want to employ you?
I have seen so many examples where people have walked out of University with degrees and ended up working alongside those without qualifications – working sometimes for a higher wage for their degree and sometimes not. Those with a degree of course, still having to pay off University debts so being on the property ladder is not something they can even consider whilst in their 20’s.

The house prices these days make it terribly difficult for people to get their step on the property ladder. A study from the financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/81343d9e-187b-11e8-9e9c-25c814761640 looked at the cost of housing, while “incomes have faltered”.

There are, of course, those who are fortunate enough to have parents who can help them out financially, to help them onto their first step (for me and my husband our support came in the form of us both living with my parents while we saved – something which is becoming increasingly common in millenials in order for us to be able to afford our own homes).
There are those who are unfortunate that can afford to get onto the housing ladder due to an inheritance following a bereavement – something else which happens less due to the longer life expectancies.

We are faced with the challenges we learnt from the lessons of previous generations where pension schemes can’t always be trusted and you need hefty deposits to purchase homes.

Women are expected to work full time, have careers and still manage a household. There is still shaming from previous generations if homemade meals aren’t cooked. There is still a judgement from previous generations when it comes to hired help in the form of cleaning companies – and this is for the ones who are fortunate enough to be in a position to earn enough to have that as an option.
Men are also expected to work full time and have a career and expected to be a ‘modern man’ – contributing to household chores.

Women are stigmatized whatever choices they make it seems – if they choose a career, why are they not having children? Or why is someone else taking care of their children?
If they choose to be a stay at home mum – why are they not working to provide for their children? Why are they not setting an example for their children?

Who adds to the stigma Millenials face? Well for one, The Media. Compared to previous generations, there has never been such an overwhelming media presence – News 24/7 – News on the TV, in Newspapers, Online. The Media have to make stories to feed the demand.
Social Media also has a massive role to play – playing the comparison game on Facebook is not productive and negatively affects our mental health.
As we are the first generation facing this lifestyle, we are the ones who’s mistakes will be learnt by future generations.

More of the issues Millennials face can be found in this interesting post about ‘quarter life crisis’ https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/dec/30/me-and-my-quarter-life-crisis-a-millennial-asks-what-went-wrong

It discusses the pressures we are faced with and how it impacts us mentally and is an interesting read.

While we as Millenials are very fortunate, we are constantly referred to as the ‘snowflake’ generation – when the truth is that we are like many other generations – we have benefits previous generations before us didn’t, but there are also challenges we face that other generations were not faced with.

My view is that every generation can learn from the previous, and that in a time when we will be living longer and become a world of multiple generations, we should each respect our similarities and differences.

New Year, Same Old Me?

So 2018 has ended, and what did it bring for me?

Well like every other year of my life, and like pretty much most other people’s lives, it was a year of highs and lows. It was a year that in some ways feels it has taken an eternity to get to the end of, and in other ways I feel like “are we really at the beginning of a New Year again already?”
So basically it is like Groundhog year I suppose.

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This year for me started like most others, it ended on some massive lows but some good things have also come from my year.

I guess the lows reflect my ‘real’ life and the highs reflect my ‘online’ life (generally speaking).

The beginning of the year found me continuing to encourage others that it is ok to need and ask for help – that there is no shame in not being ok.
All the while, I was failing to see the downward spiral I was on mentally. I was aware of it to some degree, but hadn’t fully acknowledged it. It felt ok to say others needed help, but not ok for me to ask for it. At least not to the degree I was starting to feel I needed it.

While I was telling everyone it was ok to seek help and support, it began to open my eyes to the fact I was not doing the same myself.

After a while it became too much and my ‘mental meltdown’ happened before work one morning. I finally cracked and decided I had to seek professional help to try and stop feeling the way I did, and to try and stop some of the behaviours I had begun due to my mental health issues.
I called the Doctor’s Surgery and sent texts to my husband and mum. I apologised for failing them. I told them I couldn’t do it any more – that I needed help to stop me feeling the way that I did.

When I went to the Doctor that day, I barely said many words, as it was mainly tears. He was very kind and very patient. He prescribed me with medication and referred me to a local team to decide the method of support I could get, where I attended an information session. After this they enrolled me onto 6 group CBT sessions.

Having to take time out from work to attend these sessions, I was completely open and honest with my manager about my mental health issues and he supported my need to attend the sessions. This was a big thing for me because my role had changed at work and in honesty it was contributing a lot to my mental health issues, something I only truly begin to realise more and more as time goes on.
In addition to this I opened up to one of my work colleagues who I am closest to and she was very supportive and understanding, having experienced mental health issues herself before. It is amazing when you open up about Mental Health, that others feel able to open up too. This helped my day to day work life massively as she understood and could help reassure my anxieties, encouraging me to put my own mental wellness first.

I attended 6 sessions of group CBT and the tablets seemed to be helping a little and alleviating some of the behaviours I was developing.

I had a small Twitter account which I began using more actively at the end of July and started tweeting about Mental Health. Through this I met the incredible mental health community on Twitter. More detail on this can be found in my previous posts (‘The Me In Social Media’ – Part One can be found here: https://wp.me/paaGKg-j)

This led me to meet some amazing people and also to create The Mental Health Crisis Angels on Twitter (you can follow us here https://twitter.com/MHCrisisAngels)

Around the same time, my job role changed again. As my confidence in what I was doing with the Angels grew, and I loved the new purpose I had found – things at work were getting worse. I was increasingly unhappy in my job, and discovered I was going to have to take redundancy at the back end of 2019. On top of this I had additional medical issues which, combined with my anxiety, was causing me to take regular time off work – something which was uncommon for me.
My Mental Health was getting worse again, some of the behaviours creeping back in like they had before.

That didn’t stop me finally doing what I had been wanting to do for years though – and that was starting my first blog!

Nor did it stop me continuing the work with the Angels, and going on to create a blog for the MH Crisis Angels before the year was out. You can follow their blog here https://mhcrisisangels.wordpress.com

2018 ended in me turning back to the professionals, but this time it will be Private rather than through the NHS – and that is where my 2019 journey will begin.

So what does 2019 hold for me?

🦋 To try and make the best of a bad situation at work – to try and turn things around and see where things go for my final months in the company
🦋 To continue my mental health journey towards having much better understanding and control of my mental health and wellbeing
🦋 To seek new work opportunities
🦋 To continue the work I have started with my own Twitter account, and continue to grow the MH Crisis Angels to provide as much support to those struggling as we can
🦋 To work on and grow the blogs for My Simple Mind and MH Crisis Angels
🦋 To keep working on myself as much as I can – to be the best me that I can be!
🦋 To encourage and remind people that it is ok not to be ok – whether that is someone else, or yourself!!

‘On The Fence’: Christmas

Love it or hate it, you certainly can’t avoid it! Christmas takes over for the entirety of December, and it feels like it gets earlier and earlier every year.

Some people are huge Christmas fans and love going ‘all out’, but for others, Christmas isn’t the greatest time of year.

Sometimes it isn’t just about being a ‘Grinch’ or a ‘party pooper’, there are people who struggle at this time of year for a variety of reasons – maybe due to their current circumstances, or previous trauma they have experienced etc.

I asked my Twitter followers whether they love it or hate it, and here are some of the things a few of them had to say…

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How do you feel about Christmas?

“I really dislike Christmas, I get very anxious in the run up to Christmas.”

 “I absolutely love Christmas! It feels so magical and cosy. I’ve been known in two previous jobs as the Christmas fairy, so I’ve always been in charge of decorating at work because they know that I love it so much.”

 As long as I can remember,  I have had a love/ hate relationship with Christmas. I suffer from depression, anxiety, and PTSD brought on by child sexual violence. Half the time I have to force myself to enjoy the traditions. Since having children I find myself loving the holiday more for them. I don’t want them to feel as I do.”

 

What do you think of shops playing Christmas music in November?

“Annoying and a ploy to attempt to get people to spend more money.”

“As much as I enjoy Christmas music, I’d prefer that they wait until the day after Thanksgiving.”

“I honestly can’t stand it. It makes me anxious. It reminds me Christmas will be here soon and there’s so much to do. It puts me in panic mode.”

 

Do you decorate for Christmas?

“When I was living at home I used to decorate for Christmas but last Christmas and this one I have been living in a hostel and I haven’t made such an effort”

“Yes, we go pretty crazy. During the Christmas season, there are virtually no untouched horizontal or vertical surfaces in our home. We put together a very intricate “holiday village” in our living room that takes a couple of days. I love it; it’s like a little virtual world. And it’s great to see granddaughter’s eyes light up when she sees it every year. She just can’t touch it!”

A little, I did more when the kids were younger but now just the basics. This year I won’t even have a tree as I have a puppy and it could be carnage”

 

What is one thing you like about Christmas?

“I like a bit of time with my family”

“Being with all three of our adult kids and getting to relax and just enjoy time with them – and seeing them have fun hang out with each other.”

“Seeing other people happy and little kids having fun is cute. Other than that, not much really.”

 

What is one thing you dislike about Christmas?

“The whole artificiality of it and the negative effect it has on a lot of people.  More suicides around the festive period than any other time of year.”

“The idea that there are people who are lonely and sad.”

“Not having family around like I use to. Everyone has grown up or passed and it’s hard to be together. Also, I can’t enjoy it no matter what and that kills me.”

 

What kind of Christmas did you have as a child?

“I had some weird Christmases growing up, quite a few spent in hospital due to health issues then when I got better every other Christmas was spent with either mum or dad”

“Christmas was amazing when I was a kid. My muma and dad would help me leave out milk and mince pies for Santa, and some carrots for the reindeer. The next morning there would be an almost empty glass, some mince pie crumbs, and a carrot top with bite marks on the bottom of it. I had a huge stocking that got filled by Santa, and then presents from friends and family under the tree. I used to get so many presents that I couldn’t open them all in one day. I’m an only child, so my parents used to make Christmas all about me. Santa still brings me and my dad presents every year.”

“My parents were divorced, so I spent most of them with my mom. After my molestation I spent a few big holidays with my grandparents. Unfortunately , the trauma has erased much of my childhood.”

 

What does your typical Christmas day look like?

”Same as every other day.”

“Christmas Day is always at my auntie’s house. I spend the morning opening the presents under the tree at my house, and then we get ready and go to my auntie’s house. We have a big family dinner, open all the presents at their house together, and then relax in the evening watching Christmas TV. Boxing Day has always been special in my house though. That’s when we do Christmas all over again for just us, and it’s a lot more chill. We stay in our pjs, watch whatever we want on TV, and have a whole second Christmas dinner!”

Get up, stay smelly, eat chocolate – go to bed lol”

 

What would you say to someone who has the opposite view as you on Christmas?

“I would say it’s their opinion and I’m glad they have better experiences than me”

“I’d say to each his own, if you like it fair play but to me it’s just another day.”

“I think it’s sad that people have unpleasant memories of Christmas, and I feel lucky to have great ones. I’d say make the time to volunteer for an hour or two somewhere over the holidays – it really takes you “out of yourself” and reminds you to be grateful for what you have.”

“You do you. Everyone is different, and they can celebrate it (or not celebrate it) however they wish. One of my best friends doesn’t do Christmas in their house. They used to when she was a kid, but thanks to family drama every year they decided to stop celebrating it. Now their tradition is to get takeaway and watch rubbish TV in their pjs. Don’t ruin it for those that love it if you don’t like Christmas, and don’t shove your love for it in other people’s faces if you do love it!”

“Everyone has different views on Christmas, for different reasons. We all have the right to our own feelings and views.”

That is fine, we all have our own experiences. I am not a bah humbug and know that a lot of my issue is circumstance rather than the actual holiday itself.”

 

Please respect that everyone is entitled to an opinion and that the world is full of so many unique people. Unfortunately you are never going to agree with every single person, and every single person isn’t going to agree with your opinion.
If everyone had the same ideas, thoughts & opinions then nothing would change for the worse, but it wouldn’t change for the better either.

 

 

Thank you so much to those who participated in this post… you can check them out and give them a follow, and check their blogs out using the details below:

 

@CynthiaMGill5

@A_Strongerme_

@dawnerichards              Blog Link

@IntroducingMMI           Blog Link

@365days_051215           Blog Link

Thanks also to the person who answered anonymously

A Christmas Gift

Each Christmas was the same, the family would all wait until everyone was awake before venturing downstairs to see what gifts had magically been left beneath the twinkling tree during the night.

A man, a woman, a boy, and a girl, all made their way down the stairs in their pyjamas and dressing gowns, while it was still dark outside because the day hadn’t really broken yet!

The mother and father were in clear need of a coffee or two, the son was eager to see what surprises lay ahead, and the young girl’s long hair had no time to be brushed when there was important present opening to be done!

The lounge door was pushed open, as if it lead to somewhere magical, which to the children, it did. Under the tree, was everything and more than they had expected!

christmas gift

 

Amongst the masses of presents, stood a large wooden doll’s house. While the son, being older and uninterested in doll houses, was more interested in the presents still to be unwrapped, the youngest and only daughter, approached the doll house excitedly. The young girl explored the tiny details of the house, a gift which, she imagined, had been built for her by Father Christmas and his elves in his workshop.

The doll’s house came perhaps up to her waist. It had a hinged front and like all the outer walls of the house, it was covered with a red brick work pattern and fitted a look similar to that of a traditional Victorian Town House. Front windows with netted curtains gave it a homely feel, and she couldn’t wait to see what surprises lay inside.

She lifted the little hook which held the front of the house in place, and opened it to reveal the little world inside.

The inside was sectioned – kitchen, bedroom, lounge, and bathroom. Wallpaper decorated the interior of each room, which had tiny Victorian doll furniture, a size which would be suitable for the young girl’s ‘Sylvanian Families’ figures.

So much detail had gone into the various rooms, all matching the Victorian feel of the home – a Grandfather clock, a mangle, a lifting toilet, furniture patterned with tiny flowers.

Looking closely, she could see a light bulb in the ceiling of one of the upper rooms… but wait… did this work?

She explored the little house further. Looking at the outside again, she looked closer at the roof of the house which was patterned with black slates… another hinge! She unhooked the catch, and upon opening found that the whole of the front of the roof lifted to reveal an attic. In the attic she found a small switch, which (as you have probably guessed!), once pressed, lit up the light bulb inside the house!

This house was perfect and became a great little home for the various members of her Sylvanian Family, and the little girl couldn’t have hoped for much more from her doll house, her special gift from Father Christmas and his elves.

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Having once stood in the lounge for some time, the pretty house was moved to the young girl’s bedroom.

Over time, as the girl grew, and with the introduction of a new neighbour in the form of a karaoke machine, the house was used less and less. Many days the noisy neighbour appeared to be hosting a party with appearances from the likes of The Spice Girls and other 90s pop icons, whilst the poor house became somewhat of a clothes horse at times.

Eventually, during a house move, the doll house which had once been so dearly loved and treasured became redundant, and so, was taken to the local tip as there was no place for it in the new home.

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Some 10-15 years later, a young woman sat conversing with her mother. Her dark brown hair, once long enough almost to sit on, was much shorter now, giving a more mature look. The mother and daughter were talking cover coffee, reminiscing. The daughter mentioned a doll house she once had. Looking back, she remembered it fondly. She remembered all the details of the house she had loved as a child, forgetting how over time it had become abandoned in her eagerness to grow up and escape childhood to gain her own independence.

She asked her mother about the detailed furniture, curious about how it had all come together. Her mother told her how she had been and picked each item especially for the house, mentally designing it as she brought it all together.

Not having given it much thought since childhood, it occurred to her that Father Christmas and his elves obviously hadn’t made the dollhouse, so where did it come from? Her mother explained how every little detail had been designed, calculated, and handmade by her own father! Despite working long hours, her father had come home and spent his free time carefully building this house as a Christmas gift for his only daughter. Suddenly all of the tiny details the house had – the red brickwork, the slated roof, the working lights, the little hooks and hinge seemed all the more appreciated than had already been. She felt overwhelmed with emotion and appreciation for the effort that both her parents had put into just one of the Christmas gifts she had received that year.

She also felt a pang of guilt at the thought that the lifespan of the house had been so short and it had come to a bit of an abrupt end in a rushed house move.

The house didn’t still stand, but the memories, love and appreciation for the effort of such a beautiful and thoughtful Christmas gift for a child will always stand. It will never be forgotten or unspoken of. It will forever been one of the greatest Christmas gifts.

And in case you were wondering, and it isn’t already obvious – yes, the little girl was me.