I love Christmas, I really do, but I find the constant demands for me to be nice and considerate so damn exhausting. 2012 has been an exhausting year anyway, what with starting at yet another new school as a teacher librarian (thankfully this is now a permanent gig and I no longer have to be new teacher in the staffroom) my Mum needing to go into care, Daughter2 moving to the other side of the country, and let us not forget (and who could anyway) selling out city house (and the Buyers from Hell) and moving to The Village and a starting a country life.
I really wanted this Christmas, our first in the Flamingo Dancer Nest on the Hill, to be a happy and memorable time, but it started to stress me out. The thing that tipped me over the edge was my gift wrapping struggles with a pair of scissors that were blunter than a round rock and a roll of sticky tape that made me realise that should the day ever arrive where I needed to tape plastic over all windows and doors to keep the poison gas out, I would have no hope of finding the end of the tape roll and so may as well just throw open the windows and doors and breath deep. I have never held up any hope of sharp paper folds on my gift packages anyway, but as I gnawed my way through the sticky tape it dawned on me that I didn’t have to create the perfect Christmas for everyone. I probably couldn’t no matter how I wore myself out.
No, it is not my role to gift everyone in my life, and especially those gathered around my table. the perfect Christmas; that was the job of each and every person present. We make our own Christmas good or not so good, okay, good or bad. We each have a role to play, and it is not up to any one individual, to “make” Christmas for another. As a mother it has taken a very long time for me to reach that realisation, but better late than never, I have.
And you know what? I think this was one of the best Christmases I have ever experienced! I relaxed, threw away the quest for perfection and went with the flow. It was wonderful, and I think, that from the comments made by others, that they felt that way too. No more guilt, no more anxiety, and a whole lot more fun.
Be kind to yourself by giving yourself permission to fail, and you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. It also makes being nice a little less burdensome!