Can we have a calm Christmas?!
It can be such a lovely time of year, especially if you have kids. But – even so, it is of course a double edged sword…
Christmas is actually also one of the most stressful times of the year:
- we’re all spending more money
- we’re all trying to get everything done before the end of the year, even though we have less time! Less time because we are shopping (see above), having nights out, attending nativities and carol singing sessions at schools, feeling hungover because of the nights out… I could go on – but you get my point right?!
- we’re probably going to spend a lot more time with our LOVED ones, or we might be alone.
It is really this last point that I want to focus on here.
We have a lot more time on our hands at this time of year, shops are shut, businesses are closed, the country changes at this time of year (even if we are not Christian and don’t celebrate Christmas – which the most recent census here in the UK says that for the first time, more than 50% of us do not describe ourselves as Christian – but I bet we’re still doing Christmas!)
Many of us plan to spend this time with extended family, who we are not used to being around for extended periods! Even the people we live with day in, day out, we do not spend massive amounts of time with, because we work, we go to school, we sleep and we do other things with out them!
So this time with our nearest and dearest – is actually intense. And it has the potential to make us feel insane! Especially if we happen to be introverts, empaths or we are just very used to our own company.
We can realise at these times how much the behaviour or words of another can bother us. We can notice our own negativity – which can be equally as bothering. If we’re staying with parents, our behaviour can revert to how it was when we lived there, and we might find ourselves stropping off up the stairs! Sometimes there are rows, arguments, sometimes people just walk out. And for some – this is just how Christmas goes.
And some of us will notice who is missing this year, or maybe they’re missing again this year. And it’s sad. We maybe feel their absence more at a time when coming together is the tradition. In fact maybe traditions will change as a direct result of this person being missing. As we get older the missing might be growing in their number.
It can feel tense for those gathering without someone. Should their names be spoken? Or is it too painful? How much is it okay to talk about them? What if it’s upsetting for someone else if you talk about them too much? We don’t want to ruin the atmosphere. Maybe they don’t get mentioned at all. But that can’t be right? Can it?
We cannot win of course, when trying to please everyone else.
Because Aunty Jenny might be okay by now, with talking about the fact the Uncle Alan left her for another woman earlier in the year. But because it’s Christmas, and cousin Daphne and cousin Arnold haven’t stopped talking about how much fun they had at Dad and Aunty Irene’s last weekend and what brilliant presents they got, and she’s had a half a bottle of sherry, she’s feeling a little fraught.
And of course your sister Elaine, whose son killed himself over the summer might be feeling a little strange this Christmas – despite coping admirably with the tragedy, cannot really explain herself when Christmas brings emotions to a head, anger, sadness, white hot rage, grief.
That’s not to mention your other half, who’s normal sunny disposition is hidden beneath a cloud that is darkening, because it is the year that you go to your mad family’s house for Christmas – because it’s tradition – and wouldn’t everything just be so much simpler if you could stay at home? Why do we still do this? We’re grown ups, we don’t have to do things we don’t want to any more.
But we do sometimes, don’t we?
A LOVELY time of year! BEAUTIFUL! The Winter sun, frost patterns on the windows, a huge log fire, sherry, mince pies, excited children, too much chocolate!
The good stuff is always good! It’s easy to focus on it when writing something like this. The harder stuff is the family dynamics, the communication skills (or lack thereof).
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.
And in order to stay cool, calm and collected this Christmas – my gift to you is my Calm Christmas Meditation, which I will be releasing next week via YouTube. Once it’s live I will update this page with a link.
Remember: whatever is being badly communicated is likely to be nothing to do with you, even if it’s you being targeted: this says much more about the other person than you, so choose this Christmas to keep yourself calm, remember you’re an adult, and question before you speak when feeling heated – “what will this add to the conversation?”