Christmas is well and truly coming. Some get excited, others get stressed and anxious and for others many meltdowns proceed. But why the stress? Why the angst? Why the meltdowns?
Christmas is a stressful time for many as we place pressure and ‘pictures’ on ourselves, others and life of how we expect things to be. We have a list of ‘shoulds’ in relation to the way we think life should unfold. We may have pictures about:
- The types of gifts we want/expect to receive
- How much money makes a ‘good gift’ and how much we should spend (even if we don’t have the money to do so)
- Who should be there for Christmas Day — and who shouldn’t be there
- What gifts we should and should not buy
- What meals we will have and what should definitely not be there
- Who is bringing what
- What time everyone will get there
Shoulds, wants, expectations – aaarghhh! The list is absolutely endless. Needless to say, the list is filled with many ‘shoulds’ and projections onto other people and themselves about how they are attached to life being a certain way.
Christmas is filled with so many ‘shoulds’ and attachments. But attachments = stress, anxiety and meltdowns when what we are attached to does not happen. But what if our attachments were not about what people should and shouldn’t do? What if our attachments were not about other people at all?
What if Christmas was about being with people, being with our family, being with our larger family of the world as a whole?
What if Christmas was about learning to appreciate the qualities that each of these people bring, while bringing understanding to the qualities each person is yet to develop? What if Christmas was all about an opportunity — an opportunity to come together, to learn and embrace each other? What if the true gift of Christmas is in people and each lesson that each person offers us?
So, in preparation for our upcoming Christmas period, we can reduce the stress, anxiety and pending meltdowns by:
- Letting go of our ‘pictures’
- Embracing each moment as a learning opportunity
- Appreciating the qualities that each person we come in contact with has already developed
- Bringing understanding to each person who also has qualities, skills etc. yet to develop
- Remembering the true gift of Christmas is in who a person is and never what a person does
- And lastly, by embracing this definition of love with each and every person you come in contact with
The true gift of Christmas is in people — never in what people do!
This article and image were originally published in the November 2016 Edition of Haven For Families Magazine.