Joy itself can sometimes seem somewhat delicate or elusive, when in fact, opportunities for joy are abundant. Joy can take shape in a half-smile whilst reading a good book. A full stomach after a satisfying lunch. An Azalea in the garden where there wasn’t one yesterday.
Sometimes, when life gets a little wobbly around the edges (as life tends to do!), joy is something we must actively seek out – making time for neglected hobbies and gathering strength from our communities and loved ones.
And then, every once in a while, it may feel like our days are overflowing with it – we walk with a spring in our step, savouring all that is wonderful and joyful around us!
For us at MV, Christmas and the festive season is an opportunity for a couple of those overflowing, joyful days. So we’ve asked some of our team at MV: what brings you joy at Christmas?
Like many of us, Christmas day at Julie’s (our production assistant), is made extra cheerful by not what’s on the Christmas dining table, but who’s at the dining table.
“My family brings me the greatest joy at Christmas. It’s one of the few times all year that all the family can get together. I love celebrating with them and feel very grateful that I have such loving people in my life.”
There’s something special about Christmas time as an anchor for families who are pulled in every different direction throughout the year. For Sharon, MV’s founder, many of her family are still oceans away, but that doesn’t stop them from feeling close on Christmas Day.
“Christmas Day and Boxing Day morning and evening are filled with video calls to the UK where all my family live and where my daughter has called home for the past 3 years. This means the beginning and end of each day is filled with laughter and lots of people popping in and out of the screen to tell me how jealous they are that I’m having a sunny Christmas!”
Christmas day is also spent surrounded by Sharon’s friends-turned-family – a network of love and support that she cherishes greatly.
“It’s a time to share some of the delicious fare this amazing country has to offer with all my comfy-pair-of-slippers friends - the ones I’ve known since I first arrived in Australia.”
Beyond this, the festive season is a time for her to recharge her batteries, which is why she spends as much time as possible at Balmoral Beach - just a short walk from her home.
Whilst Sharon is out at the beach (making sand angels – we can only assume), Maddy, our Despatch Manager, is swapping stories with old friends in the mountains.
“I love the whole 72 hours from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day night. Christmas Eve is usually spent back home in the Blue Mountains at one of the local pubs where everyone I spent my teenage years with tends to gather even if they've moved away. Joy is thick in the air and there are hugs all round. Christmas Day is spent with family at my Grandma's house. We swim, eat, open presents, play board games and people nod off on the couch. There is always too much food and my Grandma will never forget to put six pence in the pudding. Boxing Day is full of a sense of calm, leftovers, swims and naps. This is pretty standard for every year and I wouldn't change a thing!”
As much as we seek change within our lives, there is certainly a great deal of joy to be had from the familiarity and comfort of tradition, whether that be six pence in a pudding, a beloved board game or - in Min, our Account Manager’s case - combining both European and Aussie tradition!
“I spend Christmas Eve with my Estonian Mum and my siblings together, in the usual European tradition. Christmas Day; my own family will be spending our day with a lunch at our house for extended family, finishing it off with a swim at North Curl Curl after washing the mountain of dishes!”
But for our Brand Manager, Charli, something that wasn’t around last Christmas brings a touch more happiness into the equation!
“This year is extra special for me...I get to spend it with my new little baby girl, Joey Jay. She arrived one month early and forced me into an early maternity leave (sorry team!), Joey will be 19 weeks old on Xmas day, but I am extra excited to start making magical Christmas memories for her, each and every year.”
Aside from making memories with her baby girl, Charli can’t get enough of Sydney sunshine, sandy beach days (we’re seeing a pattern here…) and enjoying toasted slices of buttered panettone for breakfast. A true indulge for a nutritionist, she says, but no panettone for the baby this year!
Even though our communities and Christmas days all look a little different (besides us all enjoying a bit too much pudding), our stockist support Paula, in a nutshell, reveals what brings us the greatest joy at Christmas:
“Just spending time together and creating special memories to cherish.”
So, whether you’re celebrating the festive season with your old school friends, your in-laws, your circle of co-workers, or perhaps even over Skype - joy certainly seems to be in the air, and perhaps a little more contagious…
Perhaps those delicate opportunities for joy we have throughout the year - a good plate of food, a warm hug, a “feet up” moment with nowhere to be and nothing to do - are all made that much more joyful when we share them with those we love on Christmas?
Merry Christmas and love to all,