Why is that? It’s supposed to be a break isn’t it?
We’ve been exposed to Christmas “shit” since September - before Halloween, before Remembrance Day (that’s a whole other topic of conversation). We’ve had this pressure and deadline mounting for 3 months by the time The Big Day rolls around.
Buy, buy, buy. Go, go, go. Eat eat eat. Drink drink drink. Happy happy joy joy! ‘Tis the season.
Gifts for wives, husbands, kids, cousins, grandparents, friends, co-workers, bosses, teachers, clients, the postman – pretty much anyone you can think of right?! Then there are the functions and the food (see my previous blog on Restraint around the holidays). The obligations put on us (and that we put on ourselves) are endless and heaven forbid we forget a card or a gift or say “No!” to attending a party or dodge the treat tray at work or skip a second serving lest we offend someone.
I get the whole “Spirit of the Season” thing, but somewhere along the way this spirit has became a little possessed! Look back over the last few years – when was the last time you took some time and did something just for YOU over Christmas (and that doesn’t mean Christmas shopping)?
I know! It sounds so selfish doesn’t it? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that people turn into Scrooge and become rude, but seriously folks... WTF?? What’s so wrong with saying, “Sorry Johnny, I’m not going to be able to make your party” or “Thank you, this is delicious but I’m not going to have another piece”. Really? Does this decision to abstain revoke our “friend status”? (I guess it might on Facebook)
We lose control of ourselves out of obligation to others. Reluctant to be deemed “non-Christmassy” or hurt someone’s feelings, we lose sight of the goals that we’ve set out for ourselves and have strived hard to achieve all year long. And when the dust settles, we’re left standing there, looking like we’ve just been beat with a Nerf bat!
Unfortunately life is not a team sport. We have family and friends to support us through tough times but ultimately successes and failures fall on our shoulders. We’re the ones who don’t give ourselves credit where credit is due and we’re the ones who beat ourselves up the worst. And if family and friends are truly there to support us, they should understand if we Just Say No... shouldn’t they?
As that magical day rapidly approaches, and all pistons begin to fire, do yourself a favour and take a few minutes just for you. You deserve it after all. It is a holiday! Remember your goals and the things that YOU want to achieve and have strived towards throughout the year.
1. If the stress of the Season is accumulating, allow yourself a few periodic moments of non-Christmas activity.
2. Just like you would for a doctor’s appointment, set aside some time for YOU. Get a massage. Go for a walk. Grab a workout. If you don’t want to leave the house, find a quiet corner, unplug the phone and read a book. Listen to some music. Take a nap.
3. Be true to yourself and what your priorities are. You may have to adjust some of your regular habits in order to make a compromise but forsaking them altogether will only set you back.
4. Save some of your Christmas cheer for the rest of the year. We become too caught up with the Hallmark Calendar of Celebrations and forget that we can hold on to the “Spirit of the Season” and be Merry the other 11 months of the year too!
5. Enjoy the holiday for what it truly means to you.... no one else can enjoy it for you!