Really don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re worth more than that!
Christmas and the Holidays are about connecting. It all started with a little family celebrating the birth of a baby, and the guests pretty much either brought their love (the shepherds) or a gift each (the kings).
When we think about having enough for Christmas, some years we’ll be financially able to King It Up, other years you’ll have a shepherds heart, both are completely acceptable to people who love you.
It is ok to “cut our coat to the cloth” and have a financially and emotionally manageable Holiday Period. In the old days, tailors would decide what coat they were going to make based upon the quantity and quality of the cloth they had in front of them. The more cloth, the fancier the coat, the less cloth, the simpler, but there was always a coat at the end of the cutting and stitching, they just had to assess what they had and decide how to proceed.
It is easy to want to give family and friends the exact gift they want, and sometimes/quite often we can do that. But sometimes we can’t. I’ve always gone as extravagant as I could and struggled in November – January. This time folks will be getting cute, fun, ideal gifts which perhaps don’t require us to sell a kidney or rob a bank and although humbling, I’m completely ok with that now.
Have a diary so you don’t miss fun events, and have a good gift wrapping kit with scissors and a proper tape dispenser to make life easier, and book a day off work if possible or set aside a non-workday to prep, then enjoy. It doesn’t have to be stressful, it doesn’t have to make us frazzled. We decide how we react.
If the priority is in connecting with those we love, or in caring for ourselves during this period, we can’t go far wrong. If we are invited and want to go, GO! Don’t let worry stop us visiting with people we love and having fun or kicking up our heels. If we are lonely, find someone to serve. It is the quickest cure for loneliness. If we are frazzled, stop and think about the people you are attempting to connect with through lovely festive food and a gift. When we remember the who and why, the how becomes less fraught if we let it. If we are overworked, simplify and delegate. There is no prize for arriving at the holidays completely overwhelmed and fractious, we determine our destination and how we arrive there.
For me, it is the traditions of Christmas that I remember the most from growing up. Wearing your nicest clothes and PJ’s, those little sausages in bacon during dinner, seeing Nan and Granddad, taking a couple of hours out on Christmas day to colour in the new colouring books with new felt tipped pens while laying on our tummies on the rug. I don’t really remember exactly what gifts arrived, we had a few great ones to be sure, but what remains is how I felt during those Christmas periods. Grandparents are no longer with us but I can still feel being pulled in to a hug by Nan with a big kiss on my forehead and I can still see Granddad laughing and chuckling to himself with tears in his eyes after making a dad-joke type pun.
If all we can do this year is bring a Shepherd Heart, we’ve done a lot.