So Christmas is almost upon us. Have you completed your present buying? Have you wrapped them? Did you buy a big enough turkey? What about a vegan alternative for your Auntie? Did you get those Christmas crackers that you like, you know, the ones with the fancy gifts like the screwdriver set which you know your dad will just love? Are you staying sober so you can rush off and pick up Uncle Michael before the Christmas Lunch? Have you got enough beds for everyone to stay over? Oh and you must get that cereal which your mum just loves! Or maybe you are going to a relatives for Christmas, have you got someone to pop in to feed your cat whilst you are away? What about work, have you tied up loose ends before finishing, maybe you still have a few days to go?
Well, I don’t know about you, but all i’m reading is pressure, pressure, pressure and stress, stress, stress! Why do we do this to ourselves. The expectations that are set for Christmas, the presents, the food, the drink and the entertainment. We want everything to be perfect. These traditions are age old. We love them and love the result but the build up and the pressure which exists for everyone to have a perfect time over the festive period is incredible.
We hear about fights breaking out on black Friday when many people buy gifts in store for their loved ones. Seriously? People get narky in supermarkets cos the spuds they want are out of stock due to crazy demand whilst two people fight over the last bag. Meanwhile the usual food we eat goes out of date and spoils as no one buys it. If you have ever worked in a supermarket over this period, you will know how utterly barmy it can get. Then the flip side for the customers is they are trying to steer their trolley which is a mountain of food, drink and party regalia around the filled aisles, making sure they don’t have a head on collision with the old lady and her walking stick.
We spend days and days and even weeks preparing, we spend so much money. People feel under pressure to buy so much food and gifts and drink too much. All the tv adverts and programs (many of them) make it out to be one of the most amazing fun filled easy going and loving times of the year. This isn’t quite reality. Yes, we all love to pass out the gifts, open them and enjoy their content, watch the kids and their excitement over the latest video game but the build up to the day has been immense and the pressure has been staggering. We want everyone to have a great time and love their gifts, but at what cost?
Once we have opened the gifts, eaten the gigantic meal and watched our favourite Christmas show we can begin to relax. Now, not to rain on anyone’s parade or take away the fun and joy of Christmas, and I’m certainly not being bah humbug at all. I love it and I know the build up can be fun and wrapping presents and/ or putting up the decorations whilst watching Home Alone (or my favourite Christmas movie A Muppets Christmas Carol), really can get you into the spirit of the festivities. But take a look around and notice if you are doing too much. Where is the stress and pressure coming from? You? Your family? Society?
Maybe you are feeling anxious and it’s making you want to hide. The thought of everyone in the same room can be a testing time, but it can also be the only time of year when you all connect. I think most people would happily eat a simple meal and focus more of the family part or friends. Play those silly games and just have a good time. Why not look at it a different way, do what you want and what makes you feel comfortable, after all it is your day too.
I hope you all have a truly wonderful and fantastic Christmas and enjoy the festive period. Remember, be kind to yourself and look after you. Your health and wellbeing is more important than making sure you have the potatoes made in six different ways to please everyone!
Remember you are awesome, do Christmas your way, maybe start a new tradition with your family – say farwell to the usual meal and opt for a pot luck party, where everyone brings part of the meal, starter, main course or dessert – it can be anything! At the end of the day, it’s all about spending time with those we love and care about. All the rest is just extra.
Take care and Merry Christmas! Thank you for all your likes and comments. You are all amazing and unique and the world is a better place with you all in it.
Love Emma xx 😁