The Christmas TV ads are tugging at our heartstrings (and our purses); magazines are filled with tips on how to make the best Christmas lunch, tables heaving from the weight of it all; Christmas songs are playing on the radio; shops are filled with goods to tantalise; and the supermarket shelves are filled with produce which expires before the big day, assuming we will be eating the same foods from now into the Boxing Day. And it even seems like snow may be glistening, just like the films/cards/songs. There is so much pressure to enjoy Christmas that it interferes with the enjoyment of Christmas. The stress of it all can seem overwhelming.
So, with just a couple of weeks left until the big day, it is worth considering what would make this a good one for you?
- The amount of money you saved?
- The amount of money you spent?
- The amount of food you ate?
- The amount of alcohol you consumed?
- The amount of gifts you received?
- Spending time with family and friends?
- The quality of the time spent with family and friends?
- Building bridges with people you care about?
- A random act of kindness (given or received)?
- Remembering the true meaning of Christmas?
- Midnight Mass?
- Everything being perfect?
- Laughing at the silly games you play year in and year out?
- The hugs that come from the heart?
- Lighting a candle to remember those who are no longer here?
- Doggedly doing the chores like a martyr to prove your invincibility and perfect hostness?
- Sharing the chores as you chat/laugh/sing your way through them?
- Laughing until your sides ache that you dropped the turkey on the floor?
- Watching White Christmas around a roaring fire?
- A long walk with the family after lunch?
- Reflecting on your achievements for the year?
As I write this, the water cooler maintenance man interrupted me. We got into a chat about life, the universe and everything, and he said that what would make his Christmas would be remembering someone he helped in the preceding year. His name is Andy Archer, widower, former regimental sergeant major, father of 8, grandfather to 18, and a very lovely man.
One of my happy Christmas memories was the time my father agreed to don a Santa hat for the very first time the year before he passed and the laughter it created. I can’t remember any of the gifts, or what we ate, but that memory will be with me forever.
Personally, it is the simplest things which make my Christmas. But they can easily be lost in the noise and the stress. So, take this time to think about what will make the difference to you this Christmas, despite what the media tells you.
Have a good one, whatever that means to you.
As always, do feel free to get in touch if you would like to explore how I could help you get the most out of Christmas and your life in general.