Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year – at least it seems that way, if you listen to the carols and pay attention to every bit of festive pop culture.
However, as we all know by now, that isn’t always true.
But why?! My inner child cries.
Because life doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas. That includes the bad stuff too, unfortunately.
“IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!”
Now I adore Christmas. Truly I do, no matter how much I find myself identifying with the Grinch! Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year and I love nothing more than seeing my home and my city decorated with colourful lights, glitter and music. I love the festivities and the focus on family that this season brings.
But the older I get, the more I begin to see how stressful this time of year can be.
A huge factor of stress at this time of year is the pressure to make it perfect.
Perhaps it’s because it only comes once a year, or maybe it’s down to all the advertisements telling us we need this or that for the best Christmas ever, but this season can be so stressful purely because we think we have to make it perfect.
This pressures comes from everywhere (books, movies, television, billboards, shopping malls) and hits everyone. If you’re a parent, you need this toy to make your child’s Christmas. If you’re a newly-formed adult, you need to make sure you have this food or this decor to make your Christmas party perfect.
“LIFE DOESN’T STOP JUST BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS”
No matter who you are, unless you’re a very small child perhaps, there’s no doubt that you’ll feel some sort of pressure this Christmas.
So when something goes wrong in our private lives, say it be a breakup, a family illness or a job loss, Christmas is perhaps the worst time for it to happen. Not only do these kind of issues have no place at Christmas time – as the only issue you should face in this season is not being able to get the latest toy for your child, Jingle All the Way-style – but we also have less time to deal with them rationally.
At Christmas everyone is rushing around, trying to make sure they’ve got everyone’s presents, cards, the right food and are making this most out of the season. There’s far too much stuff going on for us to be able to process something bad happening.
At any other time of the year, although big issues like family illness or a job loss are certain to cause a lot of stress, we are able to process things a little better because we’re not bogged down with all the festive extras.
I don’t want to put a downer on Christmas, because it truly can be such a magical time of year for those who celebrate it, but I do want to shed some light on the fact that it won’t be perfect and sometimes, as much as we want to avoid it, bad things do happen.
If you are currently struggling with some issues right now, don’t let Christmas make you feel even worse. Sure it’s a shame that you’re missing out on fun stuff because you’re tied up in appointments, meetings or family things but just know that you’ll have your chance again.
“GET YOUR KINDNESS ON”
Christmas is here every year so it’s totally fine if you have a couple of not-so-great ones.
Ultimately, the main thing to accept is that Christmas can’t – and likely won’t – be perfect. Life doesn’t stop because it’s Christmas – so don’t worry, you’re not the only one dealing with shit right now.
The best thing to take away from this season, especially if you’re dealing with some nasty things, is kindness. If there’s anything a lifetime of Christmas movies and songs has taught me, it’s that this is the perfect time of year to get your kindness on.
Be a little gentler with your peers, your family and above all yourself this festive season. That’s the only way to go.
If you are struggling with stuff this season, my heart goes out to you. Please check the bottom of this post for some helpful links.
All my love and speak soon,
- For loneliness or social issues on Christmas day, tweet #joinin for a large online gathering (not suitable for series issues, more of just a chat)