How are you feeling in the run up to Christmas? Do you love this time of year or dread it? Do you want to deck the halls or most of your family? Will you be kissing your loved one under the mistletoe or wanting to wring his neck with a bauble clad wreath?
To start with, these aren't the most Solution Focused thoughts are they? (LOL) But they are thoughts I've had and I know you have too. Having talked to a lot of ladies on line and at the school gate a few things became clearer to me, that I already knew, but that was highlighted in my conversations. Whilst all of us love the idea of Christmas we create two major problems with it that mean as women we are unlikely to enjoy it as much as we could.
First, we have a big, fat airbrushed, stage managed expectation of what it will be like. We watch the million pound budget adverts on the telly and think 'OOOH I want a bit of that action.' (I know it isn't only me!)
When the reality of a child that has woken up over excited at 4 am, 5 am, 6 am (and you've finally caved to go down), when you only got to bed at 1 am doing all the last minute 'bits', has a meltdown just as you are about to sit and eat lunch, because he/she has eaten 2 selection boxes without you knowing, and is exhausted from the broken sleep, you want to meltdown too! Or you are the woman who shops for the meal, cooks the meal and, while everyone else is feet up getting in a bit of the Queen's speech or a rerun of the 'Wizard of Oz', you are in the kitchen washing the Christmas dinner of a thousand dishes. You just want to weep with exhaustion and a feeling that no one appreciates you.
The image of a perfect Christmas is shattered and you are left deflated, disappointed and, if you are honest, resentful as hell.
Second, in this bid for the perfect Christmas you won't let anyone else help with the shopping (he'll get all the wrong things), the cooking, (he'll make a mess of it), the wrapping, (might as well let the kids loose rather than let him wrap!) the organising, (he won't know what to do) etc etc.
Again, how does this leave you feeling? Joyful in excelsis, dinging your (or his!)dong merrily on high or like you've been doused in a bath of cold bread sauce? Has it left you not knowing what the true meaning of Christmas is for you?
Do you dread the extra work, expense, maintaining your regular work/life commitments?
I love Christmas, I really do, but it took me until 3 years ago to gain some perspective around what I was doing and why. It took me from deciding to organise 5 major functions at my house in the space of a week and a half and then nearly keeling over at the end of that Merry making marathon to say, never again and mean it. I do learn from my mistakes, most of the time. LOL
It made me wake up and see it was all self imposed!! I'd done this to me. I had choices and I made ones that didn't bring me the happiness in Christmas I'd been trying to create.... In the aftermath of over spend and knackeredness I could hear myself moaning to friends about how hard Christmas was and how rubbish my hubby was at helping (I wouldn't let him, poor man!!) Blah, blah, blah. Not anymore. It was time for a change and you know WFTT belief, 'If you always do what you've always done. You'll always get what you've always got.' So changes have been made. I'm still a work in progress, but I am soooo much better and I want that for you.
So, ladies I'm on a quest to get you thinking about your Christmas, to help you plan and delegate more mindfully and productively, to allow yourself to say no to things you don't want to be part of your Christmas without feeling guilty and get solution focused about how you feel and act about the whole festive period.
Do you think it has got out of control? Have you lost your sense of perspective? Do you feel you have to do/control it all? I'd love to hear about how you feel about Christmas in the comments below.
If you want to join me on my Quest. My quest to have a Stress-Less Christmas. Please click here for more details. Let's do this.