Christmas is special for many reasons. One thing I love is personal family traditions. For a long time I used to get anxious around Christmas and my Birthday. I felt everything had to be ‘Perfect’ or else the day was a disaster. One of the best things I’ve come to accept over the last couple of years is that there is no perfect; things happen as they happen, and it’s much better to focus on enjoying the now than working towards a fictional perfection. (which is not real outside the realms of Disney films anyway). It may sound pessimistic but it actually encourages me to relax, be cheerful and appreciate each situation for what it is. And not worry about what it ‘Should’ be. Learning this and putting it into practice daily has changed my life. It helps me feel happier each and every day.
Our very human strive for Perfection is promoted throughout society. In the media as well as by shops who rely on their consumers. We are taught to buy things, have stuff and live a certain way in order to be happy. The problem with this theory is there is no neon lit up point of happiness that you achieve and then sit back and relax in. Happiness is a journey, a way of living that makes the everyday moments good and often better than the big organised ones.
Getting our Christmas on…
I find Christmas is the time when pressure and expectation rise in a tidal wave around us. This year, in my family, we agreed to try to avoid the horrid panicky feeling of stress that arrives with the December festivities. We agreed that we wanted present giving to be enjoyable and not a struggle. E.g. We didn’t prepare stockings for each other because we were all coming away from busy work periods and in need of a rest. Not chaotic last minute shopping trips!
When my siblings and I were children, my parents provided the most wonderful Christmases imaginable and year after year we made amazing memories and had lovely presents under the tree. Now Ben, Elisabeth, Antonia and I are adults, we know how much work is involved in doing Christmas for a family of six. Food, wine, decorations and presents is a lot of work so we all pitch in and help share the preparations.
I live at home with my parents so decorating the house falls largely to me. My elder sister Elisabeth has the most beautiful style of anyone I’ve ever met. Her present wrapping ability is legendary and sometimes I feel my creative skills are really inadequate by comparison. I normally help choose the Christmas tree and bring it home before Elisabeth works her magic, transforming it with lights and decorations into a festive delight. This year, it was my turn to decorate. (After a false start and a quick turnaround to chainsaw off the bottom branches before putting it up again). I was extremely proud of our tree. She was a good un.
I hope everyone has enjoyed a lovely Christmas
Whatever your holiday involves, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. For me this year it’s been eating delicious food, lots of chocolate and 65% sherry filled trifle. Laughing uncontrollably during a game of Balderdash. And being extra silly as a full family of 6 together with a very happy labrador.