Christmas without Worry and Concern?
I was talking to someone about Christmas and she said that she just feels like crawling under the doona and forgetting the whole thing. She is Danish and it is cold and dark at Christmas time. The pain she wanted to sleep away is based on not living up to the ideal version of Christmas. If we find ourselves alone during Christmas it is not a big leap for a creative and experienced mind jumper to conclude that we are not loved, not good at the family stuff, and perhaps even that our life is a failure. These were certainly her conclusions.
I have previously shared my idea of what leads to conflict and stress and that it is when we have a discrepancy between our expectations and how we see the world, how we perceive reality. Expectations around Christmas are high and often our perceptions of how others experience Christmas quite warped!
We forget that for many Christmas is spent worrying about not eating too much, the quality of the food, the family relationships, the gifts being enough and right, not hurting anyone’s feelings, trying to look pleased when receiving ghastly gifts etc etc.
Certainly Christmas is not experienced in a permanent state of bliss, there may be lovely moments but also challenging ones. Few want to admit to those special family times not being as idyllic as seen on an advert for David Jones. And so we tend to think that others don’t have the challenging moments we do, as we compare our inside with everyone else’s outside.
I think that one of the greatest gifts we can give each other is to be honest, to not keep up the façade, to get closer to reality rather than the illusion. Being authentic is liberating for everyone. And to be kind to ourselves around expectations, do we really need to write the Christmas cards, do we really need to do all those presents, do we really need to serve all that food?
How would we like our Christmas to be? Considering what is most important for us to create and experience this Christmas. For me it is going to be that I am relaxed and have time for my boys, that when they want me to shoot certain undesirables with a machine gun from a helicopter on their play station game, I will do it, without reference to poor conflict resolution skills or anything like that.