There are many people who don’t find this time of year particularly ‘merry’, and the words going through their minds are possibly more like ‘no, no, no’ rather than ‘ho, ho, ho’.
Whether you’re worrying about the cost of Christmas, presents and preparationss, coordinating and/or navigating family and friends, a plethora of social events, or workloads to be completed before the end of the year… the list is daunting.
Although we celebrate Christmas, it’s not always been fun, or easy.
Four years ago my husband had a heart attack. Four days before Christmas Day. Exactly one week before we were due to go overseas.
Last year he broke his foot and was in a cast.
This year he was made redundant. Out of the blue. Totally unexpected.
Each time we’ve said well we’ll just do what we can.
We ate fresh prawns and rum balls in hospital after the heart attack, and did presents later in January.
Last year we didn’t have a big Christmas tree but we had lots of fairy lights.
This year we’ve said we don’t need anything, so we’ll keep it basic and simple.
We’re lucky we don’t have a large extended family we have to buy presents or cater for, so that helps.
But we’re unlucky we don’t have a large extended family that could have run around and done a million things for us!
You can see it both ways.
If this isn’t your favourite time of year, it’s very hard to escape it.
Everywhere you go there’s Christmas music playing.
Don’t get me wrong – I really love Christmas music – but I’ve always found it extraordinary that you hear songs such as “White Christmas” here in Australia:
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow
Especially when we’re currently in the middle of a heatwave!
Temperatures at our place reached 36C yesterday and it’s tipped to be the same today.
So I had to laugh when I recently found myself singing “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”
Let’s face it, this is the closest I’m likely to get to snow this Christmas:
But then it dawned on me, if I changed the lyrics slightly, this could work very much to my advantage.
So here’s a simple mindful meditation you can do to ease some of the stress this Christmas time:
If you can, take yourself away from the immediate source of stress.
But if that’s not possible, just find somewhere quiet – even the bathroom – if it gives you some space and time.
Take a few deep breaths in and out…
Allow your shoulders to let go of any tension and fall away from your ears…
Just let your arms hang by your sides…
Take a few moments to ground yourself – noticing what you can see, hear and feel…
Then take another deep breath in… and as you breathe out…
Sing to yourself “let it go, let it go, let it go…”
Do this for as many breaths as you need.
Use this as your go to Christmas mantra whenever you feel you need it.
This is supposed to be the season of giving – so please make sure you give yourself a break too.