It can be a wonderful time of year – treats, seeing loved ones, sharing gifts, relaxing. However, Christmas can also bring stress because there’s so much pressure to make it perfect.
The media constantly present us with Christmassy images of smiley-happy people cheerily sitting round a table laden with food and drink, abundant gifts and everyone getting along fabulously. It’s no wonder we may compare real life with that and feel there’s something lacking.
The trick is to let go of “perfection pressure” and instead focus on having a wonderfully “good enough” Christmas this year. Here are three tips to do so.
If you’re going to be spending Christmas with family and friends – it’s quite possible that there will be some tension. We all have our own way of seeing ourselves and the world. But we sometimes forget that we’re different. We want others to see our own point of view, and when they don’t we take offence and see this as a reflection on ourselves.
It’s called Ego – we all have one!
Add to the mix, busyness, expectations, tiredness, alcohol, – it’s easy to see how arguments can erupt out of nowhere.
Accept there’s a possibility that differences of opinion will arise and make the intention to forgive the person before they’ve even annoyed you! Doing so will prevent you from over reacting if they do say something that offends you.
Forgiveness is all about letting go and showing compassion to others. As Mark Twain said:
“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
Plan for next year
If you are alone this Christmas, and don’t want to be – that can be hard. Again pressure from the media can make you feel as if you are the only one in this situation. If you’re fed up about being alone – accept this is just where you are at for this year.
Just for this year – not forever.
Take this opportunity to plan for the coming year. If making new friends and building relationships is what you want, spend some time over Christmas doing some research.
One great resource for making friends is the website https://www.meetup.com/
It covers pretty much the whole world – all you have to do is look for groups of like-minded people in your local area and join!
If you’re one of those people who ends up doing all the work at Christmas and then feel resentful about it – it may be time to change the way you ask for help.
Rather than thinking that you have to beg for help from others, start focusing on the spirit of sharing at Christmas. When we share we connect. A great way to elicit help from others is to encourage sharing and offer praise. For example:
“I really appreciate it when you help with…….”
“Thanks for doing that it gives us more time to spend together…..”
These positive phrases will elicit much more help from others than
“You never help with…!”
“Why is it always me that has to…..”
You can find out more about this in my recent post: How to Get Your Needs Met Without Sounding Like a Nag!
So whatever your situation this Christmas I hope these tips will help you create a wonderfully “good enough” Christmas. That’s all any of us really need.
With much love and kindness.
See you in the New Year!