Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Thoughts on Christmas

I read recently an interesting post on giving fewer gifts on which there was a comment which said "Not to mention it takes the pressure off Xmas and revives the true meaning of the holiday = family." Now, I'm not criticising this comment, it was just a jumping off point for my own thinking.

As a non-religious person who has a difficult relationship with my family (or rather, with my parents who are really the only family I see regularly) - what is the 'true meaning' of Christmas for me?

The short answer is - I don't know. I'm hoping that writing some things down might clear it up for me. I certainly will be going home to see my parents, but I know from past experience that spending too much time there ends up draining me, lowering my self-esteem and leaving me unhappy for many weeks after the fact. But my 'chosen family' (aka my friends) will all be busy with their own families and traditions, so I can't impose myself upon them. It's likely that this year I will spend most of the week between Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year) alone in my flat.

That's not a bad thing. I like spending time alone, and I won't be working so it will be the kind of break that I take all too infrequently. I have managed to make Valentine's Day a tradition for myself, when I usually send cards to all my friends and go to the cinema for myself. I do like the idea of having some personal Christmas tradition - and already I'm having all kinds of ambitious ideas like decluttering and giving anything I no longer need to charity shops, or using the time to reconnect with my friends by writing personal letters to each of them...

But I also know that Christmas is already a stressful and busy time. Already, I only have 18 days to buy presents for everyone, to sort out a costume for the work Christmas party, to get enough work done at work to take time off... Not to mention, I have five choir performances coming up before Christmas. Adding serious decluttering to that seems like a disaster waiting to happen, and I know that immediately after Christmas my motivation will be low.

Perhaps I should dedicate the week after Christmas to self-care, doing things I feel like, when I feel like them and trying not to feel guilt for being 'unproductive'.

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