Now, I love Christmas more than a Disney princess on 10 wheat-grass shots, and show me a town festooned in white fairy lights and the magic is all set for me.
this year, my family and I have taken a stand and agreed to do Christmas differently.
I would be lying if I said this is a totally new idea as every year we say the same and every year we fail. The festive fizz of excitement in every detail of regular life, within November and December, causes too much agitation. The adrenaline rises, the inner kids bounce about like the aforementioned Disney character and we culminate in a heap of recycling and exhaustion on the evening of December 25th.
More stuff than anyone could ever need. Excess in food, alcohol units and cortisol as it all gets too much for everyone to “put on a happy face”, all day/season long.
Kids are my inspiration at this time. Because they are basically us, adults, before we learn to “behave appropriately”, within our society. I might take a lot from enjoying a release such as an emotional meltdown during the EastEnders misery-fest at 7pm on Christmas day.
So far, it is sticking. We are in the second week of November and I am not struck down through fear of how to afford to get everyone at least something, anything, gift wise.
So far the Christmas lights switch on is coming up in my home town and I plan on meeting friends to enjoy the sense of occasion and the happy hormone inducing illuminations during the darkest time of the year.
Instead of gifts this year we have planned a family day out to a stately home with huge gardens for running around in, late December. It is at this time that we will all see each other, all together, within a few sweet hours, unlike Christmas Day which usually comprises of broken socialising in a fight to fit seeing everyone you love into a tight 24 hours.
The kids will still receive gifts as it seems unfair to remove the magic of giving a tangible offering to their expectant hopes and wishes. But it will be mindful giving. And not hoards of stuff destined for the charity shop at first light on boxing day.
A recent idea gifted to me regarding presents was that of the Mindful 4: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.
I aim to introduce the festive season as primarily a time to share in family gatherings, enjoy delicious foods and plan hopes for the coming year ahead. Gift giving and receiving will not be the top of the list.
As I write this I’m wondering if it is at all possible to achieve…
But we’ll give it a go.