“Mum, when can we put the Christmas tree up?”
“Mum, where’s my advent calendar?”
“Mum, why is the elf doing that?”
“Mum, here’s my Christmas list?”
“Mum, when will Father Christmas write me a letter?”
“Mum, I need a camel costume for the school nativity play… tomorrow!”
“Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum!”
Aughhhhhh! Stop! I am drowning in Christmas. I’ve been swept away by the current and I can’t pull myself out.
When did this happen? How did this happen? When did Christmas and the happiness of all who sail in her become the sole responsibility of ‘Mum’?
Well, to be fair, probably right at its very roots, but I am pretty sure that there was no elf on the shelf present at the birth of baby Jesus, and Mary was not working three jobs and baking 50 fairy cakes for the school Christmas Fair. So why do we do it to ourselves?
I must confess, that Christmas in all its psychedelic, hedonistic glory, has never really been my thing. I hate that advertisers and big business have hijacked this sacred winter festival and shaken every penny from our already frugal pockets to fill their own.
I hate that they sell us a vision of ‘the perfect Christmas’, where everyone is happy all day long and not one child is screaming on the floor, because they wanted the blue dinosaur and not the purple one. And then there’s social media, full of its list’s and hacks and ways to improve this insanely stressful time of the year.
I need to tell you right now, I have not written a ‘to do list’, because if I started, I wouldn’t stop, and unlike ‘Sylvia from Kent’, I have not taken time to hang a festive shower curtain in my bathroom! I don’t have a shower curtain…. or a shower.
There is so much unnecessary nonsense out there, designed to make us feel bad about ourselves and spend money, and I am done with it all. I am starting a Christmas rebellion, where my enjoyment of the festivities is equal to everyone else’s and where I will hopefully be saving a bit of my sanity and the planet in the process. If you too feel like you are drowning in Christmas, please feel free to use and share these ideas.
Bring the outside in:
There is something so calming about being surrounded by nature, and I really enjoy cutting a few sprigs of holly and other bits of foliage from the garden and having them in the house. I also make a Christmas wreath for the door. Yes, it looks like I’ve made it after a few too many Christmas Sherries, but it’s mine and it’s definitely homemade! If this is not your thing, maybe pop to a local florists and find some greenery for your home there.
Turn off the TV and your phone and get outside:
This time of year is dark and far too busy, and it goes against our natural instinct to be thrust into bright lights and chaos. 20 minutes outside in nature and natural light can significantly lower your stress hormone levels. A walk in the park or a wander down country lanes can really help us to relax, breathe and focus.
Don’t believe the hype:
You do not NEED a new sofa delivered in time for Christmas any more than you need Sylvia’s shower curtain. It’s all a marketing ploy, do not fall for it.
Spend time rather than money:
Buy only what is essential for you and your family to have a happy Christmas, save the rest of your money and maybe treat yourself in the January Sales, or have a day at the spa. Maybe offer people a little bit of your time rather than expensive gifts.
Make or bake something:
Creativity in all its many forms is essential for our well-being. Whether it’s sewing, knitting, art, singing, cooking or gardening, make time for it, it will do you the world of good.
Good luck to you all this Christmas, I will see you in 2020, when the water has settled and we can swim to the shore to rest. *
*This was written before 2020 hit us! I’m still trying to swim to shore and rest and now a pandemic Christmas is fast approaching! I’ve already seen posts on social media (IN OCTOBER!!) saying, “Lets make this Christmas EXTRA SPECIAL!”
Piss off, Sylvia, lets focus on those people we love and just be thankful for all that we have.
This post was first published on SelfishMother.com in November 2019