It’s only 19 sleeps until Father Christmas and his reindeer will be speeding across the globe, fully laden with sacks of presents to deliver. I know that being reminded that there are only a few short weeks left until Christmas, will send many into a state of panic or despair. Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year and according to the internationally recognised Holmes & Rahe stress scale, its right up there with divorce and death. Christmas has become this huge commercial juggernaut that keeps pilling on the expectations. At a time when most of us are already feeling overloaded and only want to think about that much needed summer break. It’s the time of year when we are bombarded with images of big happy family celebrations, that are filled with joy & laughter. When, in fact for many, this is the furthest from reality. In my past life as a child protection social worker, I was appalled at the lengths that some parents of separated families would go to, to try and prevent the other parent from sharing part of the Christmas celebrations with their children. Being estranged from my own extended family, I know what it’s like not to have lots of family around at this time of year. So, I ask that you bare a thought for those who may be alone or struggle at this time of year and would appreciate your care and attention.
In saying that, I love Christmas and am looking forward to celebrating the first Christmas in our new home, which we move into on 11th December. To help you get through the silly season, I’ve put together a few tips that will hopefully enable you to enjoy your Christmas.
Ways to Combat the Silly Season
- Put you & those closest to you first, instead of listening to the “should’s” from extended family, friends or work connections.
- Decide early on how you would like to spend your Christmas and stick to it.
- Once you’ve worked out what your priorities are this Christmas, write a list of everything you want to do and how much you want to spend, when it needs to be done by and who is going to do it.
- Spread the load & learn to delegate.
- It’s ok to say no to invitations.
- Reach out to others who do it tough at this time of year. A little kindness will benefit you both.
- As much as it can be great to have lots of friends and family stay at this time of year, it can also be fraught with problems. It’s often a juggling act to manage personality clashes, differences in opinion & personal space & autonomy. So, I recommend having times when everyone can have their own space.
What does your Christmas look like?