ColumnistsVogue Williams

Vogue: Why I am keeping it simple this Christmas

Vogue: I’ve said no to the countless parties and, to be honest, I don’t feel like I’m missing out
Vogue: I’ve said no to the countless parties and, to be honest, I don’t feel like I’m missing out

I am a huge fan of Christmas, but this year I’ve decided to ‘semi-bypass’ it.

I still plan on having a lovely Christmas, but the whole run-up to it leaves me exhausted every year, so that’s what I’m trying to avoid. 

I’ve said no to the countless parties and, to be honest, I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

You could end up at a million things over Christmas and instead of enjoying Christmas Day you wake up a shadow of your former self, before trying to feel better by milling into the wine. 

Every year at Christmas I would go to at least 10 parties, I would then go out on Christmas Eve – which to be fair is the best night of the year – and then I would drink all over again on Christmas Day to lessen the hangover.

This year I am going to see my mom in Spain and while I went to a couple of parties, at one I didn’t touch a drop. I flew home to Dublin on Friday, missed my early morning flight because of drinking at said party and then I leave again on Tuesday to go to Spain. 

This Christmas I want to chill. I want to enjoy the time with my family instead of going out all the time. 

I don’t get to see my little brother very often as he lives in America. My mom and stepdad spend most of their time in Spain and with me living in London I don’t get to see much of my sister either. 

I think that’s what Christmas is all about really, spending time with your friends and family and it’s just what I plan to do. 

I think a lot of families struggle with the pressures of Christmas. The festive season is so materialistic and although I love the idea of giving my friends and family presents,

I think people can go overboard. 

The average household spends between €1,000 and €2,000 on Christmas every year, which is a lot of money for any family.  

We don’t go crazy with presents in my family; we get each other lovely things, but we don’t buy for everyone. The children in the family always do a secret Santa and that way we don’t have to stress as much.

Another part of Christmas that I get asked about a lot is ‘how do you not pile on the pounds over the festive period?’ 

Well, the simple answer is to chill on the booze and food, but I know myself that my favourite phrase – which I intend on using until at least February – is ‘ ah well, it’s Christmas’.

It’s the one day of the year you can just eat whatever you like!

I HAVE written about the homeless crisis in Ireland a lot. It’s a huge problem, with almost 140 citizens sleeping rough in Dublin city centre every night . 

I felt such a huge amount of pride for the Irish people when I read the story of Apollo House this week.

There is a new coalition called Home Sweet Home that is made up of 100 concerned citizens. They gathered on Thursday night in Dublin to take over the building, which is a NAMA-owned vacant property. 

Co-founder of Home Sweet Home, trade unionist Brendan Ogle, told The Irish Times the group had identified a Nama-managed property in the city centre and planned to stage a “citizens’ intervention in the homelessness crisis”. 

He also said the property in the south inner city was “lying empty and belongs to us, the Irish people”. He said the “intervention” had two “key components” – a practical one to provide “safe, warm accommodation”, and to “focus national and international attention on the unacceptability of buildings lying empty while people are homeless”.

“We want to appeal to the goodwill of the powers-that-be and to say, ‘let’s pull together as a nation and end homelessness – there is no need for it’.” 

I couldn’t agree with his words more. There is just no need for homelessness and none of our citizens should be sleeping rough and be denied basic human comforts.

I love this idea and I hope that this will ensure a bed for everyone. The weather is getting colder and we have lost lives to the streets over the years, which is just unacceptable.

This week was a lot of fun. I had ski training for The Jump on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and I’ve already improved so much.

I have met all the cast now and I have to say we’ve a really great group. I think we’ll have so much fun in Austria – I just can’t wait to get out there now and start skiing.

We also got to film the promo ad for The Jump. It took two days and there was a lot of being suspended in mid-air! I can’t wait for everyone to see the ad. (If you’re wondering about the carefully placed emojis, ski suits are not that flattering in that department!)

The rest of my week was filled with interviews and I decided to go out on Thursday evening, which was probably a mistake given my flight was at 6.25am. Waking up at 8am confirmed that, yes, it was in fact a mistake to go out!

Luckily I got it all sorted and was on another flight out a few hours later. CityJet were being very kind to people who had missed their flights that day and it would seem I wasn’t the only one.

I went for dinner with all my cousins on Friday evening, which was lovely. I have a really big family who I get on really well with, so we try to organise a few nights out together every year.

On Saturday. I got some new ski gear, then I was babysitting my niece while my brother and his wife went to their Christmas parties.