Lately, people have been feeling this pressure to be in a Christmas mood, to enjoy all things related to this holiday and have that cheerful walk on the street while listening to “All I want for Christmas is you”. But is there supposed to be any pressure? Is there supposed to be any Christmas spirit? Is there supposed to be anything else that bringing out what we actually feel like, not what society and people around us tell us what we should feel like? Have we all turned into Grinches?

I don’t think so. I don’t think the Christmas spirit has gone anywhere. But don’t blame yourself or anyone else if you’re not in the spirit these days. It’s less about Christmas and more about you. If we want to take something out of Christmas, it should be just like Thanksgiving. Don’t take the theme but take the purpose. On Thanksgiving, you’re supposed to be grateful for what you got, for people around you and everything else. And that’s the most amazing feeling ever, the strongest emotion ever: gratefulness.

So what is the Christmas spirit? Is it peace? Is it reflection about birth and rebirth? Is it reflection upon the year that has passed and how we’ve changed and what we went through? Is it a time to stay at home or in a very cozy place and have nice conversations, drink hot beverages and enjoy yourself, celebrate yourself and forget about worries. Do you really need to be joyful all the time? No. And you don’t really need to stay at home. You make home where you feel like it. And you find peace where you feel like it, whether it’s with snow or out on a sunny island.

I’m not skipping Christmas this year, I just took a break from everything, packed my bags and went to Portugal for a few days. If everyone needs peace and quiet, I need that too. And as much as I love my life back in Romania, I really do feel more peaceful when I’m outside the country, there’s less time spent on the phone and the computer and more on being a observer, enjoying, looking at small things, discovering new ones and just finding that stillness in a new place.

Four days in Porto and four days in Lisbon. That’s what the plan for Christmas is this year. Some days of reflection, enjoying something new, something old and something borrowed. I love traditions but this year, I feel like the world is starting to grow out of living their lives the way they’re supposed to.

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One must live accordingly with who he is. And this year, I felt like seeing the ocean for the first time. And taking my Christmas card while listening to the waves crashing on the beach.

It feels like a beautiful Christmas. Not a typical one but I guess we should forget about typical, cliches and normal. Being yourself and let your individuality out is the new normal. Merry Christmas!

Photos & editing by Sebastian Florea

I am wearing

ALDO shoes

H&M trench

H&M black skinny jeans

H&M white blouse

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Location: next to Praia da Luz, Porto, Portugal

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