Each year I promise myself to avoid the hype, ignore the tinsel and eat and drink less. However, if I’m to be really honest here, I mostly allow myself to be caught up in the froth, bubble and frantic pace that accompanies the festive season. What is it about Christmas that triggers anxiety and hype in many of us? I envy you if you read this and wonder what I’m talking about. If this happens to be you, stop reading this, go read a book or go for a jog…oh, how I admire you!
I do know some people who have an extraordinary capacity to carry on as normal. They go to work as usual, never hit the shops, continue and pursue hobbies, never interrupt their exercise regimes and basically stay clam and sane. Don’t they have the Christmas gene that causes mind clutter and present worry? How do people like this get out of twenty-five Christmas drink occasions crammed into ten days? How is it that some people shrug their shoulders and say, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing for Christmas’?
Well, this year I’ve tried. Actually, I’ve tried very hard to reduce the fuss, although I have to confess I’m already about to make my fourth batch of shortbread! But there are some things that are simply silly, we don’t have to see everyone we know before Christmas just to wish them a happy Christmas. We don’t have to send Christmas cards to people just because they have been on our Christmas card list for thirty years. Will the sky fall in if we slack off just a bit and breathe slowly and actually reach the twenty-fifth of December in a state of calm rather than hyped agitation?
So, with one week to go, I’m on a mission. I’m going to explore my calm gene (I hope I have one!). I’m going to play beautiful music (as I bake the rest of the shortbread!), I’ll let the week look after itself (well mostly!) and breathe, long and deep, in and out…in and out…in and out…until it’s Boxing Day!
Happy (calm) Christmas everyone.
Another humourous and thought-provoking piece, Heather. Good luck with the calmness resolution. How did Day 1 go for you? As I read, I identified two Christmas anxiety triggers in my life: teenage grandsons – what on earth do they want? And how to dodge the ‘I’m-better-than-you-are-because-I’m-slim’ other grandmother of said grandsons, that I will have to endure at the family reunion. She will waffle about the gym she goes to, the golf she plays, her latest overseas adventure and end by challenging my politics and my activism. Could have some fun there this year though. Only a few weeks ago I did a full day workshop on how to talk to challenging people. In the meantime, I’ll take a leaf from your book – lots of calm music and deep breathing. Good idea.
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Yep, deep breathing has something going for it Maureen, especially when one remembers to do it! Thanks for the comments and good luck with the family challenges at Christmas.