I confess I haven’t written a blog post in a while because I’ve been trying to sort things out in the background with all manner of things to do with me. I’ve also buried my head in the sand a bit with all the Christmas hype going on. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Christmas but get overwhelmed with the hype – Christmas songs playing non stop, all talk that’s not connected to Christmas seems to cease, bombardment from every channel of toys, gifts, decorations and food to buy. Don’t get me started on Christmas cards (the poor trees sacrificed only to be chucked in the bin minutes after delivery).
But, I digress. Now that I can’t ignore it any longer I’m getting myself into Christmas planning mode (sigh). As always my focus is on survival and care of the women and mums during this busy season. I know things are busy for the menfolk too, but let’s be honest in majority of cases the bulk of the Christmas preparation legwork is carried out by the heroines. Last year I shared 7 reasons to say “Thank you Lord” at Christmas. This time around it’s 5 things you should try to do for yourself in between or alongside your legwork. Because let’s face it, advising you not to go crazy over Christmas prep is pointless as most of you will, (some I’m willing to bet for a considerable chunk of the year).
Make time to rest
How right? “But there’s so much to do!” you say. Yes, I know, but somehow you can and you should. If between Christmas and New Year you can squeeze in a day of lazing about the house, don’t feel guilty, do it. If you can only squeeze in a lie-in one morning, a day off cooking, or a few hours one afternoon to go and do your nails, have a nap, or read a book, do it. After all that marathon cooking, rushing to grab and fight off everyone else in the shop for that last in trend toy that Junior wanted and all the other millions of things you’ve done to help ensure your family enjoys a perfect Christmas, you deserve it. Whenever I’m not travelling “home” for Christmas I gift myself two lazy days just after Christmas. I don’t want to visit anybody, I don’t want anybody to visit me. I literally live in my pyjamas for 2 days and other than have a bath, eat anything available that doesn’t require cooking (cereal will do), watch TV or read a book in bed, and do nothing else. It’s the only time in the year I force myself to pause, and I’m dreaming about it already. Oooh I can’t wait. Khaki no be leather.
Attend a carol service
Seriously, what is Christmas without a good old sing along at a carol service. Look at it as your chance to sing Happy birthday songs to the birthday boy Jesus. We are celebrating a special birthday right? Shock horror. You mean Christmas is not just about presents and turkey? Hmmm no, it’s about the celebrant first and foremost. The excitement, the beautiful sounds from the organ, the choruses and voices raised in unity and glory, all for the newborn king. For a very small glimmer of the hope, joy and partying that might have been going on in heaven on Jesus’ actual birthday, it’s so worth attending a carol service. Always guaranteed to lift one’s spirits.
Ask for help when you need it
Thou shalt not kill thyself in the name of Christmas. I’m sure it’s somewhere in the bible. Seriously though, we can overdo it in wanting to make it perfect for everyone, and thinking it’s all down to us. No, it doesn’t have to be. Ask for help if and when you need it from hubby, kids, family and friends. A friend of mine shared that this year her teenage and pre-teen children are making Christmas breakfast. I think that’s a great idea which I’m borrowing. Who says unless mummy does everything it won’t turn out right? That’s a crazy lie we’ve told ourselves and like we go on at men to drop their egos, we need to let this control thing go. So what if the eggs or toast isn’t done the same way I make it? As long as it’s edible and I didn’t have to cook it, I will happily eat it and be thankful. For the past 3 years I have no idea what happens with Christmas decorations in my house. Hubby and my kids are the elves who sort it out. Do not be a Christmas martyr, there is no prize for being one.
Love on you and your loved ones as much as you can
One of the things that makes Christmas so special is family. Blood related or not, Christmas makes us think of family and the opportunity to reconnect with our loved ones if we can. After all, some of our favourite Christmas films involve someone trying to make it “home” last minute and against all odds for Christmas. So if you have that opportunity don’t be so consumed byall the doing, that you forget to spend actual time with, reconnect, love on your loved ones and get some loving back from them too. Hugs, visiting and being visited, catch up chit chats, laugh together, cry together, reminisce together, break bread together, exchange gifts (if you are able and without breaking the bank) all make up the “loving on” experience. This might also be the time to forgive, “let it go”, “make peace with”, or resolve a grievance/painful issue. It’s not always possible, but you can at least try. Remember you’re doing this for yourself first, not them. A clear conscience is a beautiful thing to have.
Pick a project and do it
This could be one of your new years resolutions you never got round to, or something you really wanted to tackle but never in your busy schedule found the time to do. I say pick one because you don’t want to overburden yourself when ideally you should be slowing down or taking time out for yourself. Also if you tackle it and get it done you’ll feel like you’ve at least accomplished something good or worthwhile before the year ends.
This might not be the list you were expecting but I hope it helps you enjoy the season a bit more. What would be on your 5 should do list for this season? Merry Christmas in advance. I pray it’ll be your most enjoyable and memorable one yet.