I’m ruminating as I have a tendency to do of late. Do you think people put themselves under unnecessary pressure at this time of year?
I was watching people dashing around shops over the past week or so, pushing people out of the way to get to something that would make their Christmas ‘perfect’. It’s all gone very materialistic and I know we also had presents and nice food etc. but I stuck to a budget.
I didn’t spend a lot on presents and even though it may seem like we have enough food in the house to sink a battleship most of it is non-perishable. I got the smallest pieces of turkey and ham I could get and it’s all gone so no turkey sandwiches in this house for the next week. I also didn’t get a Christmas cake even though I love it! I’m the only one in the house who does though, I might make a small one next year.
I sent very few cards, it cost €1 to post a card within Ireland now and it’s €1.25 overseas so gone are the days where I’d send about 50 cards. I gave some money to charity instead. I also detest writing cards but I won’t start on my rant about cards or we’ll be here all day. I think I horrified people at the last Havin’aLaugh coffee morning when I went on a rant!
My favourite parts of the season so far have been enjoying a hot chocolate in a local cafe and watching the chaos outside. Breathing the biggest sigh of relief when the last grocery shop was done before the big day. Narrowly avoiding being drive into by a woman driving and rooting though bags of shopping, how she didn’t crash I’ll never know. Enjoying time with the kids (when they aren’t killing each-other over who got the most chocolate!) Sitting and sketching – pure bliss and by far my new favourite pastime. Enjoying watching Rat Burger with the family, what a great film, I now want to read everything by David Walliams. Walking the dogs on Christmas Day with Andy. The pink gin and lemonade and the buffet on Christmas night.
Some shops are open again today for the sales, personally I can’t think of anything I’d like less than braving the madness again. I’m thinking of my new photography projects today, one is a collaboration, one is a personal one. I’m looking forward to both.
What is your favourite part of Christmas? Is there anything you’d do differently next year?
It’s not so much that we put ourselves under pressure, as that we allow the expectations of the season to pressure us. Our children have been sold this wonderful ideal of Santa’s presents-they see what everyone else gets, and want that. So financial pressure. Then we have to travel or guest or have guests. There’s the big Christmas feed. Drink. Money for the cards. Decorations and trees and trappings.
And happy family. Swallow down your bitterness, turn that frown upside down, keep your anger hid behind the clench of your teeth because ’tis the season. Yeah, too many people get tugged around by strings of Christmas tinsel.
Sometimes you have to be a bit selfish in order to be happy. I went for a long morning run, hung out with my family, called my kids and ex-wife, chatted with friends over a beer, and had a nightcap. I sorted and sent presents weeks ago so all I had to do was turn up and enjoy the day. If I had to change one thing next year, it would be to have more people around in the flesh to share the day.
Great points and very true.
Thanks for this, Val, and Merry Christmastide to you! I watched 6 different movies of the “Christmas Carol”over the week before and during. 1950s Allistair Simms the best! Bill Murray a close second. Albert Finney the worst! No BahHumbug here, we had a Christmas time very much like yours. Must be an age, I mean, mature thing!
Simple Christmas for us as we did not expect to be back in the country yet, but some elements were just perfect. Like you, meal was abundant but simple. Presents giving was around hand made items, often dried foods and teas, that we had picked up from Thai market stalls. I did not watch any movies, just talked and shared the food prep, cooking and clearing up after. What was lacking was being with family, but they are currently in Scotland and Korea, but we meet up next month. Thank you for you insights Val. The simplicity we indulged in this year, I hope we do every year.
I think we often put undue pressure upon ourselves, I try not to, but its there, not as much as the past, so I’m getting better. My friend and I meet for lunch the 23rd/24th exchange presents and have a lovely lunch, and what ever is not done by then, isn’t going to get done, and I’m learning to be ok with that. We also love watching others run around as we have a relaxing lunch.
This is a tough time of year for me, as I have history from growing up, but it is getting better. One thing I have learned is to ask myself, ” Why am I putting this much pressure or expectations on myself” and very often it is because of historical stuff. Its a learning process for me and for the most part it is getting better, however I still had moments of anxiety yesterday. We have a very laid back Christmas, and yesterday I had a lovely 90 minute solo contemplative walk, and took my camera- as we actually had snow at Christmas. It was lovely.
I wonder if a lot of the pressure and running around that a lot of folks do, is to distract, cover up or to keep numb from how they are really feeling, its just a thought and a conversation my Dr and i had just last week.
Im glad you had a relaxing Christmas, you deserve it 🙂 ❤
Yes you could be right Suzanne about people trying to distract themselves, your walk sounded lovely. I you enjoy the rest of your break.