Surviving Christmas Without Grievous Bodily Harm – It Can Be Done!
Yes folks it’s that time of the year again. A time when every aspect of popular culture tells us to be happy, loving and full of cheer and when many of us feel like ripping the head off our nearest and dearest. Here are some tips to help you get through Christmas if Mr. Claus is not one of your more cherished icons.
- It’s OK NOT to like Christmas. Yep, it’s OK not to like Christmas. Acknowledge that you are probably in a (significant) minority, and remind yourself that it will all be over in two weeks’ time.
- Claus-trophobia: No matter how one loves one’s parents and how mature and successful you are, secretly they think you are only 10, which inevitably leads to your inner 10 year old emerging in all sorts of interesting ways: re-enacting old sibling rivalry, fighting over the selection boxes, argy-bargy in the kitchen. Get in touch with your outer adult this year, and see if you can actually stop getting into a fight early on. Believe me, you will feel a lot better!
- Drink less than you did last year: You will feel better, you won’t have to try to remember what you said in Sean in Accounts, you will have fewer hangovers and you will spend less, which brings me to the next point.
- Christmas presents: Do you remember what you got last year? Do you remember what you gave last year? Nope, me neither. Why not do a Kris Kindle with your family, set a budget and ask people for 3-5 things they would like. It’s also OK to buy the cheaper boxes of biscuits for visiting relatives. (Yes, it is really no matter what your mother says!). And why not consider asking for one of the gift packs given by Bóthar or Trocaire. This gift will make a real difference to someone in the third world.
- Remember what started it all? Even if you are not a church goer this can be an ideal time of year to acknowledge and salute the spiritual dimension of your life. Look for the wonder and beauty in the everyday and prepare to be amazed.
- Rent a child: If you have children of your own, you already know how much their innocence adds to the wonder (and how much their extraordinary demands can add to your budget…) and delight of Christmas. If you don’t have children, borrow one (believe me their parents will be delighted) and go look at the Christmas lights, visit Santa and be a parent for a short little while. Remember you can then give them back!
- Reflect and acknowledge: The time between the two Christmases (26 December to 5th January) can be a great time to acknowledge all the growth, changes and achievements of the past year. Write them down to give yourself a pleasant surprise! If the year has been bad, salute yourself for getting through it. Take some time alone to think about what you want for the coming year.
- Keep a grip on your routine. If you find that Christmas is disorientating for you, work on keeping some routines going (e.g., make sure you keep up your regular exercise). If you find that you are eating unfathomable amounts of junk, why not make a conscious effort to eat only what makes you feel comfortably full and then STOP!
- Finally, remember that underneath all the madness and mayhem, most people are genuinely trying to do their best and why not use that to get you through Christmas!