Welcome to the first of three Christmas specials. Today in the hot seat is the lovely Fran Tricarico from FutureCloud.
Christmas seems to be becoming one of those things you either love or hate. I know of people who both hate it and love it, but why...?
For me there are many expectations placed on Christmas. I refer to it as “the hallmark Christmas” the kind you see on films and adverts. Pictures and images of families and loved ones holding hands and having the most wonderful and amazing time... but is this real?
I’m sure for some it is, however, my guess would be that the majority of people don’texperience Christmas in this way. The expectations that are placed on creating that perfect hallmark Christmas are huge. The question I would ask is: is it worth the stress?
Does it really matter if the turkey is a little dry? Does it really matter if the dinner tabledoesn’t look like a M&S advert? Does it matter if you haven’t been able to buy gifts foreveryone? Workout what is important for. If it is all of the above, then ask yourself this question: are they really your standards or have you learned then from somewhere or someone else?
We learn most of what we do, from those around us. We learn it and digest it as our own without any conscious awareness, we see it, learn it, and in it goes as our “standard”. Sometimes we do this because we want to do things the way our careers did, because weremember this to be “perfect” and we want to be like the people that taught us, or we wantour family to have the same experience as we had. We have a really lovely way of holding on to traditions. It feels nice to do things the way they have always been done, this is really lovely, but again not if it is causing you a massive amount of stress.
Just because something worked for 50 years doesn’t mean to say it will work in the sameway now.
We live in a different world to the one we used to live in. 50 years ago the world was a lot slower, it was simpler. This is not right or wrong, it was just different to the world we live in now.
50 years ago, pigs in blankets would have been handmade, I don’t know of many peoplewho would make them now.
It that lazy? Is it wrong? For me, no. it just simplifies the process.
for me Christmas is about doing what is important to you! Maybe the first step in this is to work out what is ‘important’ to you. Is it people, is it gifts, is it food, is it all of them?Whatever you do make it yours. Make it so as you can look back and say “I loved that Christmas” #christmasyourway
During our recording we talked about some of things that we might not look forward to, one of those things was visiting people and particular family. There seems to be this overwhelming duty that when we get some off from work at Christmas (for those that get time off) that we should then spend this time visiting family. This only happens like this at this time of year, only at this time of year are expectations so high.
Remember again, expectations that we have either learned or they belong to other people and we have taken them on board. If you want to see family and if you like your family, thenI would say this is brilliant. However, if you don’t like your family or you find them hard workor draining, then my question would be “why are you spending time with them”? as I’m writing, I’m hearing someone shout “duty” I get this, honestly I do. Particularly as people getolder, we never quite know how many more Christmases we may have with them, so there can be a sense of duty. If this is the case, then I encourage you to do the visiting on your terms. See them when you want to see them, stay for as long as you want to stay for. This is your Christmas also, #christmasyourway. Fran and I also talked about the invention of a new Christmas pizza (original idea from a recording with Alyce Bradbury) so what was on the pizza..? you will have to listen to find out.
We also talked about the invention of Christmas eve boxes. This is a fairly new tradition, forthose who don’t know what a Christmas eve box is: you get it on Christmas eve, it contains things like, pyjamas, hot chocolate, maybe a Christmas film to watch, if I’m honest I’m notquite sure what goes into them as I have never had to make one up.
It does feel like another expectation, yet more money to spend. What is wrong with just being together on Christmas eve? Why is there more desire or need to spend more money?And of course, if you don’t do it you are a bad parent. Well we know this is not true- Christmas eve box or not, you will have your own ways of being a good parent.
I want to end by saying, I like Christmas, honestly, I do. I just don’t like what it has become, and the stress and anxiety we allow ourselves to be put through.
I would like to start a movement whereby people reclaim Christmas and make it their own, they make it about what ever they want. If you want Chinese for Christmas dinner, then what you should have.
I’m speaking to more and more people that are doing Christmas the way they want to.
I have a series of videos that I hope will help you all have a calmer more peaceful Christmas. To access follow me on Guthrietherapy Facebook page.
I really hope you enjoy the recording, and I really hope it brings some peace.
Till next time
Love and Peace
Listen to this weeks podcast and the rest from Kevin's Mental Health and Wellbeing series right here