This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Thomas Sabo
Just in case you hadn’t seen enough wreath adorned doors, artfully arranged tinsel flatlays and gloved hands clutching mulled wine cups (guilty as charged) while browsing Instagram lately, allow me to inform you of something; it’s nearly Christmas.
Christmas is about many things – gift-giving, parsnip-eating, mulled wine drinking and trying to win the annual unspoken ‘best wrapping and gift presentation’ competition amongst others – but I hope you’ll both forgive me and stick with me if I start with a cliché. As with many clichés, it’s actually just something true that’s been repeated so many times that it now sounds contrived, but oddly enough it can be easy to forget in the mad run up to the big day; Christmas is about being with people.
Obviously there’s lots of being in the same room or attending the same social occasion as people you might have very little feelings about (it’s the season of big office parties and gatherings that involve 367 members of the host’s extended family after all), but one of the best parts is being united with your very nearest and dearest and all the warm, loving, mushy feels that it brings.
When Thomas Sabo asked if I’d like to be part of their #TogetherbyTS campaign, I jumped at the chance not only because their jewellery is beautiful (which it obviously is), but also because of the connotations the brand had for me. The first Christmas Rob and I were a couple, you see, he gave me a pair of Thomas Sabo earrings as part of my Christmas present. We’d known each other just a few months but already felt like a proper little team. I’m sure he won’t mind me telling you that. I’ve written it now anyway.
So that’s what I wanted to talk about in this post; togetherness, the way that it’s far more than just being around another person, and why it’s so important that we be present to enjoy it.
Now buckle up, guys, because it’s about to get a bit sentimental. Togetherness is so much more than just being ‘with’ someone or even simply being friends or relatives. It’s about companionship, closeness, intimacy and understanding to name just a few, and these words apply to any relationship in our lives – not just romantic ones. Unity and affection, teamwork, and knowing you can be entirely yourself (in my case, that means being a grade A control freak but then also eating a whole packet of chocolate digestives at once) around a particular person or a group of people; that’s togetherness, and it’s a really important component of our most significant relationships.
This is something that’s been brought to the forefront of my mind more and more often as I’ve got older and left behind past friendships and relationships that made me afraid to be the most natural version of me. I really appreciate, now, feeling like I‘m on the same team as someone else; that it’s easy to be myself around them, and that we can handle things together and want the best for both of us rather than just ourselves. It’s only really in the last couple of years, for example, that I’ve known what it’s like to feel proper togetherness with a partner, and when a friend went through a difficult experience earlier this year I saw how much of a team my friendship group is too.
The unfortunate thing though, is that I’m waxing lyrical about this now, but it’s so easily taken for granted, and that’s why I think it’s something I really want to focus on enjoying over the festive period. I’m embarrassed to admit that I actually find it all too easy to neglect my ‘team’ and waste the time spent in their company far more often than I do for people I barely know. They understand, I think, just as I would for them – but it’s precisely because they’re the most important people to me that that shouldn’t be the case.
Throughout the past few months I’ve noticed that it’s actually very difficult to be present a lot of the time – perhaps more difficult than it’s ever been before. Not to turn into your nan and go on about ‘the good old days’, most of which I wasn’t even alive for, but I often feel that there are a lot more distractions now than there were in previous times. We’re expected to be ‘on’ and responsive at every moment, we have a million and one things to do all the time and we place pressure on ourselves to play a multitude of roles excellently.
For me, this often leads to taking for granted the togetherness I consider so important. It’s surprisingly easy to fall into the trap of addressing seeing people (even our favourite ones) as a task to be ticked off the to do list, or trying to get other things done while you’re spending time with them, rather than being really there. I do it all the time – free evening to ‘spend with Rob’? Sorry, I’m probably hunched over Instagram. Night in with the girls? Great, but I hope you don’t mind if I reply to tweets and send an email because the shoes I’ve ordered haven’t arrived yet and then think about the errands I have to run tomorrow.
Christmas seems like a very apt time to rediscover and cement the togetherness in some of my relationships by making more of an effort to engage in the moment and give those who mean the most to me my full attention. I can’t even count the number of people I’ve seen say online that this festive season they’re excited about taking a break from the little world on their phone screen and day-to-day routine to spend proper time with family and friends.
And yes, you could do that any time of year, but there’s nothing wrong with making a particular effort for the season of goodwill. It’s what I’m looking forward to most; taking time out of the madness to be present and enjoy just being together properly with Rob, my family, and my best pals. They’re the people I can really be myself with, after all, and that warm, content feeling of ease and togetherness goes so very well with a mulled wine and a cosy jumper that I’ve probably spilled Christmas dinner on.
I’m very nosy, so I’d love to hear in the comments about the people in your life you feel a real sense of togetherness with. And to my favourite people in mine; I can’t wait to get together with you this Christmas.
What I’m wearing
“Together” Ring – C/O Thomas Sabo
“Together” Necklace – C/O Thomas Sabo
Lotus stud earrings – Thomas Sabo (not C/O, but since I mentioned them in this post I couldn’t resist wearing them too)
Dress – H&M
If you happen to still have Christmas gifts to pick up, I genuinely do think that the Together collection is beautiful (both in the sparkly, glorious to look at way and in the mushy, what a lovely gesture way). I love how subtle the two interlocked rings, designed to symbolise a bond between two people, on the necklace and ring I’m wearing in this post are, and I don’t know many ladies who wouldn’t be thrilled to find them under the tree from a partner, best friend, or other member of their ‘team’.
If a bit of symbolism isn’t your jam, you can say it louder with a silver heart necklace or keep it classic with one of their gorgeous spirit watches – or some understated but totally gorgeous ear studs like the ones I’m wearing in this post. Mine are the Lotus studs, and were given to me by Rob on our first Christmas together (I doubt he was expecting that I would be asking him to take really close up photos of my ears with them in a couple of years later, but he’s a good egg). I know I’m biased because he probably could have given me something nowhere near as lovely and I would still say this, but I love them; they remind me of Christmas 2015 whenever I wear them and completely capture the essence of that December.
Photography (of me): Rob Poor
*This post is sponsored by Thomas Sabo. All styling, imagery, appreciation of beautiful jewellery and tremendously mushy opinions are my own.