Christmas is a wonderful time. It’s a magical time where children are offered the joy of fairies and elves visiting them, and a magical man, who spends one night, giving children all over the world gifts from his bottomless sack of toys. It’s a time for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s a period for many religions to celebrate a variety of feasts and rituals. It’s also a time of year that can be stress inducing as people do all the things they feel they should to be a good parent, daughter, husband, son, grandchild, employee. There’s the pressure of the most creative Elf on a shelf shenanigans and being able to home bake your own Christmas cake or host the most fabulous party. The list goes on. It’s a time when it is easy to look around and see people doing everything in a bigger and better way than you and you start to feel lacking in some way as a consequence. You might hate that annoying little Elf and want to throw him out of the window. You might have the baking skills of a toddler and your decorating looks like you’ve had bandages on your fists during the whole process. (OK only me then! LOL) You might not like socialising and yet feel you have to host like Nigella. It’s a time which can make you feel not good enough, as you focus on what others are doing, spending and organising. Comparisonitis can be rife! But fear not. I have 4 steps to keep you in your own lane, grateful for what you have got and how to gain clarity on how you are wanting to spend the festive period with who you want to spend it with.
4 Steps to a more magical Christmas
1.What do you want and why do you want it this way? Ask yourself this as you start to plan your Christmas. If you get wrapped up, like a pig in a blanket, with all the things you think you should be doing you might find yourself resenting everyone around you and not enjoying any of this magical time. Make a decision and be confident that you can make Christmas work for you. Here in the UK, there is so much pressure to consume more than you want and do things you don’t want to do at this time of year. YOU have a CHOICE! You can choose to do it differently.
2.Create good boundaries. Once you’ve decided what is going to work for you it’s time to communicate it to others from a place of love. This may create resistance as people don’t like change and Christmas is a very traditional time. However, have clear boundaries and share them with love. If that means you don’t go to Auntie Betty’s on Christmas day for the first time in 20 years, because you know your kids will be in meltdown by 2pm with the 4am start and the twenty tonnes of chocolate (and obligatory satsuma)consumed by 9am! Invite her to you or organise it for another day at a time when she’ll enjoy seeing the kids on form, simply explain your reason and stay firm on why it has to be that way. Or you can CHOSE to go for the sake of Auntie Betty, but be comfortable and not resentful in doing it. It’s for you to choose.
3.Water your own Christmas Tree. Look at all you have and all you are doing this Christmas. Feel deep gratitude for it. Keep focusing on it and not on what others are having or doing. There will ALWAYS be others with more. Don’t forget, you may be someone who has more than OTHERS; they may be looking at YOU. Comparing is a fruitless exercise. Consider how you can give to someone less fortunate. Support a foodbank, give to a favourite charity, visit a lonely elderly neighbour/relative, volunteer or help a homeless person. Do it confident in the knowledge that you have so much to offer, even when you feel like you have less than others. It doesn’t have to involve money. Time is a precious resource. Focus on being grateful for you and what opportunities you have to make the world more magical and do it.
4.Be a Santa to yourself. If you are getting swept up in all the ‘shoulds’ this Christmas and feelings of overwhelm are sweeping you adrift, throw yourself a lifeline and gift yourself some self-care. I know a lot of you struggle with steps 1 and 2 (which is why I want to get my mitts on you and work with you in the New Year! You can join my FREE 7 Day Think Different Challenge here!) I’ve started a 12 days of Christmas Self Care thread on my Facebook page so you can pop across and be inspired everyday up to Christmas. Self-care also means having clarity that you don’t have to be a one woman show! How will you ensure others muck in with the extra tasks you’ve decided you want to do so you don’t burn out? I talk to so many women who feel the spirit of Christmas is lost and that the whole thing has become such a chore. They say it lacks the sparkle it used to, but then the same behaviours and rituals are trotted out with no one really enjoying it. It’s up to YOU to change it for YOU. It’s up to YOU to create a Christmas that is fun and enjoyable for YOU. It is only a few days of festivities, but the hoo haa that it’s become overshadows the meaning of it. For me, Christmas is simply about giving, loving and connection. If it’s none of these things, because you are storming around resenting all the jobs it brings, hearing Mean Little Cow voice ringing in your ears, comparing yourself to the Jones’, the Smiths and the McDonalds and it’s simply a time you stress out or get into a financial mess, then I’m here to tell you that you have a choice. What are YOU choosing? You decide.
I would love to know your comments about this post. Please get in touch and share them with me