Food For Thought:
The Most Wonderfully Stressful Time Of The Year
Here’s a secret between you and me: Some days, I just don’t like Christmas. There, I said it.
It hurts my Christmas-loving self a little saying it out loud, but it’s the bitter truth. I’m not proud to share this, but lately, I feel like my usual Christmas joy has been taken away from me. Every year it’s the same old story: Come November, I make all these plans on how to keep my Christmas stress-level as low as possible but all of a sudden it’s December and the Christmas to-do list is filled with countless tasks and all of a sudden Christmas turns into stress-mas. I’m wondering, what exactly is it that destroys my usual Christmas excitement?
If I see another Christmas giveaway I’ll start to scream.
I think I have found my personal answer: It’s an oversaturation from all sides and angles. Christmas decoration and candy has been in stores since September, Christmas lights have been up since October and everywhere I look – no matter if online or offline – all I see are Christmas Wishlists, Christmas Gift Guides, countless Adventcalenders and the chance to win something every day… I know I’m risking to sound like the Grinch now, but I just can’t take it anymore at the moment.
As a kid I’ve always loved Christmas so much and only have the fondest memories of it. Now that I’m grown up I still have those happy feelings about this time of the year in my heart. However, this year will mark the first time Patrick and me will celebrate Christmas together as a family and not separated at our parents’, and hence there are even more things to organize than ever. I seriously don’t know how my Mom managed to turn our home into Christmas wonderland, bake cookies with me, wrap all the presents, study Christmas poems with me and on top work a full time job. How do you Moms do it? Please share your secret!
Now that Patrick and me are responsible for most of the festive organization this year I fully understand the scope of work that comes with it. Plus, as if this wasn’t enough to do yet, Christmas is also one of the busiest times of the year in my job (and probably most jobs). In my defense, at least I know I’m not alone with my thoughts about Christmas (and the holiday season) also having its darker moments. When everything around you is wrapped in gold and sparkles, transmitting the message that you should be happy and joyful, it can feel very lonely to have moments when you’re just not feeling the spirit.
I know many people struggle this time of the year. For me, it’s mainly about the pressure I put on myself to live up to my own expectations about Christmas. That’s an issue I have to deal with myself. But I know there are lots of people who are having hard holiday seasons for tougher reasons: a sick family member, a recent loss of a loved one, the fresh pain of divorce, unemployment or financial issues – the list is long.
This is the season…
What’s helping me overcome those dark thoughts and focus on the brighter side of Christmas again is to remember that I’m not alone in this and secondly, thinking of every little thing I’m thankful for. Christmas and the holidays should be all about cherishing the little moments that make life so wonderful. However those little moments may look like for each and every one of us.
Those moments. Fo me, they will include celebrating our first Christmas as husband and wife, having my parents over for Christmas at our new home, our three dogs trying to steal the Christmas decoration from the tree (as every year), binge watching Christmas movies (the same old movies I’ve been watching since I was a little kid), hopefully walking through a white winter wonderland at least once during the holidays and playing all my favorite Christmas songs non-stop. And also, most importantly: Offline time.
We are all in this together.
If you can somehow relate to this blogpost and are hanging in there, just like me, remember that we’re pushing toward the finish line. Maybe we can all scale back on the stressful, unnecessary stuff? Really, so what if your Christmas decoration doesn’t look like all those photos you’ve saved on your Pinterest boards throughout the year? So what if you don’t manage to bake your own Christmas cookies? Or how about not stressing yourself to find the one and only perfect gift for your loved ones. How about simply giving each other time spent together, like a date for a nice walk followed by a coffee? Isn’t time spent together the most precious gift anyways?
You see, I’m talking to myself here. But maybe you find yourself somewhere in between those lines… If so, I wish us all the power to make this a less stressful Christmas and holiday season. With so much going on in the world, I mostly hope we all find and feel our own small moments of peace and joy to remember what Christmas is really all about.