Well hello to everyone,
This year I have decided to repeat/renew/re-hash a blog that I originally published two years ago at the same time.
It seems as relevant to many people now, as it was back then and quite simply I thought it could do with a re-hash.
With so many people struggling to find a Xmas Experience they enjoy, I recently had a conversation with a close friend that inspired me to ” redo” this post so to speak.
My friend really dislikes Xmas, and each year it is an event that she loathes and dreads. When she shared this with me I responded: ” Well – why don’t you change your Xmas Experience to one you love and look forward to each year?”
She seemed genuinely surprised by my suggestion at first.
But then a few moments later she said – ” You know what – you are right – it is up to me to create a Xmas I love and enjoy and look forward to. I am going to give it some thought”.
So I began thinking about how to achieve that exact thing….
How can you create a Xmas you love and look forward to each year?
Well – here are a few tips:
1. BE TRUE TO YOU – first and foremost try to stay true to what makes you happy. If there is something you do every Xmas that you know makes you irritable – then change it. Skip that Xmassy obligation or event. Or change the circumstances of your partaking in the gathering. If you thrust yourself into a situation you know does not work for you - every Xmas - year, after year, after year…..you can not be surprised if things turn our badly. You will be stressed before you even get there – and then irritable for the whole time you are there, which is no fun for anyone. For me, this year, this means I am staying in an apartment, instead of with the rest of my family in the family home. It has taken me years to figure it out – but I need my space. So I have given myself the space I need to feel happy and grounded. I shall still attend all the Xmassy Events planned, but I know that I have my own little corner to return to at the end of each and every day. This is important for me. Sure, it may have disappointed the family, that I would not be residing with them for our Xmas catch up – but that is OK too. They will no doubt support the decision and be glad when they see how much more relaxed I am this Festive Season ha ha ha.
2. HAVE REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS – it is funny to me that as humans we can do the same thing or visit the same place over and over, but yet we expect something different to happen sometimes – just because WE are hoping for a different outcome. So try not to expect people who always behave in one way, to suddenly change their behaviour this Xmas. It is simply not going to happen. If Grandma always has a fit about how her Xmas Pudding turns out, Dad always messes up the Xmas Lights and Uncle Freddy always gets really drunk and picks a fight with Aunty Lucy – the chances are that this will all play out again. So you have two choices:
a – buckle up and enjoy the ride
b – avoid the situation
But one thing you can not do, is suddenly expect your family dynamic to change or people’s behaviours to magically be different.
As I heard Christine Hassler say once. “Think of all your family members and friends as different restaurants. They all serve different foods. Some serve Indian food. Some serve Chinese. Some serve Mexican. You wouldn’t go into a Mexican takeaway and expect a Chinese Banquet – and your family and friends are no different. They serve what they serve – and that’s it”. So either learn to eat it up – or don’t go to the restaurant.
This is such a great analogy and one that could be most helpful to you this Xmas.
3. UNDERSTAND THAT XMAS IS NOT JOLLY FOR ALL – as someone pointed out to me recently, Xmas is really about people with family. Or to this person it was anyways. So there are many people out there who feel really lonely at this time of year. So just be aware, that some people around you may not be feeling fabulous – but rather feeling reflective on family lost, relationships that have broken down or other issues that seem to come up around this time of year. Not everyone has a large extended family around them with whom to share the Xmas Joy. So just be aware, that people can be more sensitive at this time of year for a whole host of reasons that may have nothing to do with you.
4. LEARN TO SAY NO – there is nothing wrong with saying no to an invitation. I personally do not have ” work parties” and associated gatherings to attend, or children to take to a myriad of Festive activities and yet I have still felt quite overwhelmed with the number of dinners and lunches and activities I have been invited to attend some times. I can only imagine what people with 4 children and 2 workplaces feel like. It is OK to say no. And there is no need to lie or concoct some extravagant story either.
Simply say: ” Thanks you so very much, but I already have other plans”.
Your other plan maybe sitting on your couch reading a book, or lying by the pool alone in peace and quiet having some You time, baking Santa muffins for your daughter to take to school, or catching up on 7 loads of washing or 7 episodes of Game of Thrones. Whatever it is that you would rather be doing than accepting that particular invitation – do it!
No guilt. No fuss. No bother.
Stick to this rule and you will only find yourself where you want to be and as a result your mood will be one of happiness and joy as opposed to stress and anxiety.
5. REMEMBER THAT YOUR XMAS PLANS ARE JUST AS VALID AS ANYONE ELSES – just because some people like to dress up and attend various parties at Xmas time, or sing carols around a tree, indulge in lots of yummy food or spend oodles of money on gifts for friends or family – that does not mean you have to.
If you want to see Xmas as a time of self rejuvenation when you go off alone on a holiday or retreat – then do it.
If you want to take a break from family at Xmas – then do it.
If you want Xmas to be your time for fasting and nature walks – then do it.
If you want Xmas to be a full on, full throttle family affair – then do it.
If you do not wish to spend money on a heap of gifts – then do not do it.
For me – Xmas should be a time of celebration and rejuvenation and that can take whatever form I would like it to. And yours can be that way too.
So grab a pen and paper and figure out three columns:
So there you have it – by the time you finish these three columns you should have fashioned a Xmas Experience for you to truly love and look forward to each year. Maybe not in time for this year – but for Xmas next year for sure.
So make this year – Your Xmas Stock take year!
And prepare for many joyous Festive Seasons to come.
DISCOVER YOU. LOVE YOU. BE YOU.
- Christine -