So yes … The pull of the Christmas Vortex is as strong as ever. I’ve been sucked in and spat out a few times. By now, December is wearing thin on me.
I’m tired. We are all tired. The festive period comes straight after a ridiculously busy time. So I start the holidays tired.
A happy, relaxing holiday period of plenty seems a stretch. There’s still so much to do before Christmas morning!
My needs are usually drowned in everyone else’s, it feels. Drowned in whirlwinds of perfected expectations – my own and of those around, of the environment. It’s an old script. And I know it all too well. Friends and family often come to stay with us, and we go to stay with them. In this tornado of packing, unpacking, shopping, eating, wrapping, kisses and board games, I forget myself. I get short tempered – mainly after they or we have left, when life naturally slows down again. I love them all, and love the visits, but it is frankly draining. I won’t go there about adoption, because that we all know as the fancy antsy add ons. No, now it is me in focus.
I’m determined to do it differently this year. I’ve got a few guidelines in my head. They are my intentions, so all I have to do is practice. Over time, over Christmasses, I may even perfect them. Discard, re-jig them. So that I can be properly there for me. And for those around. And enjoy Christmas which I love.
So here are a few reminders of how not to do it, and a few pointers of how perhaps to do it.
DON’Ts of Christmas
· Bake (unless you absolutely and totally looooove it)
· Write Christmas cards (unless you absolutely and totally …) Sorry, guys….
· Spend time on fancy schmanzy wrapping (unless you absolutely…)
· Spend time on homemade this, that and the other (unless you…)
· Clean the home for Christmas (unle…)
· Jampack your calendar with visitors or visits every day of the holidays.
· Pretend that you can be gliding serenely over the chopped Christmas seas, without you feet peddling like crazy underneath.
· Take on the sole responsibility for all cooking and shopping over the festive period.
· Feel responsible to the good atmosphere at any one time.
· Spend all your energy on making sure every one else are happy and well.
DOs of Christmas
· Rest for min 1-2 hours per day.
· Watch a lot of films and christmas telly.
· Make sure not to have (any?) fixed plans between Christmas and New Year.
· Go for walk during the daylight hours.
· Let it flow/go.
· Let PJs rule the days.
· Go to bed early.
· Be lazy, boring and egoistic.
· Share the workload.
· Only use 70% of your energy.
· Have that extra biscuits (because it is not what we eat between Christmas and New Year you need to worry about, but what you eat between New Year and Christmas).
Because you can’t pour from an empty jug.
I know this and yet this time of year I feel challenged to do much too much. All the freeking time.
And yet… when I do slow down, and snuggle you myself, it becomes so much easier to do as well as with other.
It is obviously so much harder to do than to say, but I really will try to put myself a but higher up the list of needs I listen to. Hopefully there will be stretches where I am number 1. I’m finding it hard to let go, but I also instinctively know that when I do let go and slow down, when I’m honest about my needs – that is first and foremost to myself (no one else needs to know as much as I), demands magically transform to something I might actually like to do.
Brene Brown speaks about how she is much less kind but much more loving, when her own boundaries are in place. I think I get that.
Wish me luck. And good luck to you too.
Wishing you all the most peaceful and re-plenishingly happy of festive periods.