Christmas is a joyful time to celebrate Jesus’ birth for Christians. However, people are often too busy with all the various invitations and preparation leading up to the Christmas celebration to make it spectacular and successful. It is the time of the year when many gather together with their family, extended families, and friends, enjoying delicious food, exchanging gifts, and holidaying together. It is a time when many can become very stressed and pressured while they still finish up their work, buy and wrap gifts, who to invite, decide what to prepare, organise the parties, etc. Therefore, Christmas time can be very stressful to accommodate everyone and everything. You may have many conflicts while doing so.
However, remember Christmas can be a painful experience for others. Christmas can highlight how alone and lonely they are with no family to belong to. It is a reminder of how their family had been torn apart, with parents no longer together, broken relationships, no one around and perhaps even no food to eat. It may also trigger their trauma or missing the loved ones who have passed. Christmas can be the loneliest and most awful time of the year. Therefore, many do not look forward to Christmas and feel depressed even thinking about it.
SOME PRACTICAL STEPS TO MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS MORE MEMORABLE
Sadly, some people put themselves under a lot of stress and pressure, and get disappointed and upset when things don’t turn out as planned. Thus, Christmas becomes a painful memory rather than a memorable one. There are things you can do differently to make your Christmas more memorable and successful.
1. What is your goal?
What does Christmas mean to you? What is the most important thing for you about Christmas? Is it to display a perfect Christmas? To impress others with how good your Christmas is? Is there any competition factor with others? Or it is about LOVE and showing love for each other, whether with your family members, extended family, or friends?.
If you don’t have anywhere to go, you can try to proactively invite someone to be with you and have a simple meal to celebrate Christmas. Remember, feeling connected and having a meaningful Christmas is far more important than being spectacular. Don’t let this Christmas defeat its purpose!
2. Make it simple and be realistic
You may want to accommodate everybody in when and how this Christmas will look. But it can sometimes become a more complicated, chaotic and disastrous Christmas. You can divide into small groups of people, such as one day just for your immediate family, another day for one side of the stepfamily, and another day for the other side of the stepfamily, etc. By doing so, you will be less stressed in preparing for the one big party and accommodating and entertaining everyone will be more manageable. You may need to set some limits by saying “NO” to some invitations or not inviting some people to reduce your stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.
3. Give enough time to organize
Some people are last-minute people, which can be a significant stress factor during Christmas. If your stress level tends to be high, try to sit and plan as early as possible. Spread the tasks you need to do throughout a couple of days. Then, focus on what you need to do for that day and finish it. Then you can move to the next task.
Try to make simple meals, and save your energy for the day to be with others.
4. Letting go of being a superhero
If you are a perfectionist and a high achiever, you will most likely like to organise and make everything yourself to ensure everything turns out as you expected. Delegating some tasks to others is essential and worth it, though it might not be easy. By delegating some tasks, you are letting others share in the happiness and are helping them to have a chance to improve themselves, as well as for you to learn to trust and accept others’ standards. At the end of the day, what matters most is the quality time you have with them.
5. Recharge yourself
Sometimes with the busyness around Christmas, work, children, elderly parents, and relationship struggles, you may neglect your own needs. It is best if you recharge yourself by doing your hobbies, reading a book, catching up with a close friend, or even having solitude time. Like in a flight emergency, you must put on your own oxygen mask first before you can help others. The same goes for your well-being and mental health; you must recharge yourself to accommodate others. Sometimes with the busyness around Christmas, with work, children, elderly parents, and relationship struggles, you may neglect your own needs. It would be best if you recharge yourself by doing your hobby, reading a book, catching up with a close friend, or even having solitude time. Like in a flight emergency, you must put your oxygen first before you can help others. So does your well-being and mental health; you need to recharge yourself first to accommodate others.
6. Be grateful and be moderate
Often people are so tempted to compare themselves with others, either with what others have, their success, relationships, children, etc. Comparing yourself with others will make you feel unhappy and miserable. Remember, more people are in more unfortunate situations, in poverty, in war, and losing everything. Learn to be grateful for what you have; being moderate will produce contentment in your life.