I am going to admit it, I am a little bit of a bah humbug person at Christmas. I will admit that I love the twinkly lights in cities and towns and toasty warm fires, I love it when it snows so long as I can wrap up warm. And that is about it. I will admit it, I rarely send Christmas cards anymore, because I would rather save trees and meet up with people and say Merry Christmas. I only buy presents for immediate family. I will only go near the shops if absolutely necessary and will aim to get there as early as possible to run in and then run out.
For me it was clearly shown how much of a frenzy Christmas can be with the black friday shopping where people were fighting over TV’s that were saving them around £70. The shops are overstocked with presents and food that we dont really want and often do not need. People spend a huge amount of money on presents, food, drink, outfits etc for the partyseason and for many this contributes to more stress, be it financially or adding more tasks to the already enormous “to do” list as we try to keep everyone happy and somewhere try to find some joy.
The shops are already busy, busy, busy, the credit cards are starting to take a battering, yet how many of us feel good, feel happy during the festive season? It can be an incredibly lonely time for many, it can be stressful for others, we can also have to connect with family which we may not really want to. Where in this are we honouring ourselves and our needs versus doing what we feel we “should” to keep others happy? Where are we also getting sucked into the commercialsim of Christmas and forgetting what it is all about? If we look at this time that it is a celebration of the birth of Christ. Look at it as a time to celebrate the birth of your own divinity and how that is worthy of being honoured. That you were born, that you are worthy of being here and so are others.
Heres my bah humbug tips to take the stress out of Christmas:
- If you have to buy presents buy online, you can avoid the shops completely.
- Order your Christmas food locally, then pop and collect it just before Christmas, this way you support local businesses and it is only one trip
- Send ecards instead of paper ones, minimise the impact on the environment while still connecting to people.
- Only buy presents for those you need to, agree with all others you will leave it this year so there is no guilty feelings of they bought me something and I didn’t. You may have to be courageous to have the conversation, but remember you are honouring you.
- Instead of working out what to buy everyone, ask them what they need and buy that. If they dont need anything, get vouchers you know they will use. Nothing worse than presents that gather dust in the closet.
- Dare I say it “present recycling” you know the ones you got last year, didn’t want and are never going to use so it goes to someone else? Genius, nothing wasted and everyone happy.
- Work out what causes you stress and what it is you need in this situation ie why do I have to go shopping then I get stressed. I need to because its the only time that shop is open and I’m available. Ask for an alternative solution i.e. online shopping, going early in day when not busy, ask someone else to help.
- Know what your budget is and stick to it. If you havent got the money, dont stress yourself spending what you dont have. Honour yourself first.
- Make presents – such as cakes, paintings, sing a song, really put a personal touch to it and it can be fun.
- Make connections, be part of a community.
- Find something you do to have fun
- If its all getting too much, watch out for the signs and find that time to nurture you.
- Ask for help and be prepared to receive it. We are not super human and others actually may like to help us.