Pre-Christmas De-Stress December 18, 2014 – Posted in: Personal Development, Relationships – Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So, here we all are at the end of another year and counting the days to Christmas. If, like me, you have young children at home then the excitement will likely be reaching fever pitch especially with all the parties, nativities and mufti days adding to the already heady cocktail of anticipation and exhaustion. There’s no doubt this is a magical and special time of the year but there are many for whom Christmas is difficult mainly because it’s different to what they believe everyone else is experiencing.

I have a friend who will be without her family this Christmas and she’s been really struggling with this fact. I invited her to join us but this isn’t what she wants. Being with someone else’s family will be too painful a reminder that she’s not with her own children. So she’s decided to have a day in bed binge-watching American sitcoms on catch up. Good for her! It’s not conventional but it’s what she’s decided will be her Christmas day this year.

Others will be too unwell or to poor to celebrate Christmas in the way they want to – or in the way society deems ‘acceptable’. Others will spend the day either shouting at each other or sulking at things said or unsaid.

My point is that for all the cosy adverts showing happy families spending blissful semi-drunken laughter-filled days together this is a VERY high bar for the rest of us to reach and most of us probably won’t spend Christmas day like that. Most of us will experience a day in which we laugh and cry and get frustrated and miss absent loved ones and bite our tongues and eat too much food and become overwhelmed – because this is the reality of Christmas. It’s a day we’ve chosen to pile high with perfectionistic pressure when really all any of us want is to spend a peaceful day with those we love.

But, how many of us actually manage that? If you’re alone this Christmas please remember that you’re not the only one. And, if you’re in the midst of a massive family row this Christmas you, too, won’t be the only one. Christmas is just a day – a potentially lovely one – but just a day and one that does not in any way need to determine the success or tone of the rest of your life.

Wishing you a peaceful one!

Jo x

This blog post first appeared as an article in my Life Column in The Bath Magazine.

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