Stay calm this Christmas

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‘Tis the season to be jolly! That’s right Christmas is just about upon us and things are really ramping up and when I say ramping up, I mean ramping up. This time of the year both excites me and intrigues me. Excites me for the obvious reasons like watching children delight in proudly displaying their Christmas craft, making yummy Christmas treats that never make it to Christmas day- I’m looking at you gingerbread man- and the exciting build up to the yearly visit from Santa. Christmas is a time of year that brings joy, wonder and togetherness … or it should anyway. The intriguing part of this time of the year for me is just how opposite most adults are to the real meaning of Christmas. Go to the nearest store and grown up people are frantically running around, spending more than they should on things they don’t really want while trying to wrap up work, finish jobs around the house and beat themselves up for not achieving any of their goals for the year.

Shops are opening longer hours, even 24 hours so if you want to go shopping at 1am while everyone is sleeping you can! Parents are already feeling the guilt of finding the balance between giving too much and having their children understand the meaning of Christmas. I might be sounding a little ‘Grinchy’, I don’t mean to, it is just an intriguing time to observe human behaviour. I love Christmas as do many others for what it should be, a celebration of the people in our lives, time to stop and reflect on how fortunate we really are and relish in generosity and witness the joy it brings.

I want this Christmas to be one where you really can take time out, where you can enjoy the people in your life and you even have fun! A few ways to stay calm this Christmas,

  1. Be deliberate in gift giving. Most Christmas trees have way too many presents under them. Let’s face it, we do not need half the stuff we get or give at Christmas. This Christmas instead of trying to buy everything off the wish list, buy with intent to give a gift that is both going to last longer than boxing day and one that the person will remember receiving next year. Wrap it beautifully and give the gift like it is the most special thing in the world. Watch the receivers eyes light up!

  2. Christmas Day is not a day of cooking. Your family and friends want to spend time with you, not see you locked in the kitchen all day. Make life easier and buy some pre-prepared foods, ask for family members to bring a dish and plan and prep ahead. Cater with love and simplicity rather than stress and excess. The day will be over before you know it.

  3. Share the joy of Christmas. This time of the year is a tough time for many people who are either spending it on their own or missing someone not here to share it with them. Look for ways to share the joy of Christmas through donating your time to a charity looking for volunteers, pay for a coffee or meal for a stranger, call a relative or friend, or if a neighbour is on their own invite them to come share a meal at your place. There is nothing more joyful than offering light to someone’s life.

  4. Take time to have fun! Christmas offers a break to the routine of the year. Most people are on holidays (hats off to the service men and women who work over Christmas to keep us safe), kids are relishing in no school, the sun is out and it is a time to let any routine go. Rather than running around this Christmas, take the time to really switch off and enjoy all of the wonderful things and people you have in your life. My favourite way to spend Christmas morning is playing with the kids and their new toys!

 Stay calm this Christmas and don't forget have fun. Ho, Ho, Ho!