Another year has come and gone and the Christmas season rushes at us ever faster with each passing day. We make jokes about how quickly December goes but the truth is with everything we try to do for other people, it leaves little time to sit down and just enjoy the moments as they happen. I watch from afar as people push through trying to do too much with too little money and time. I see the stress and anger build as they rush to do everything for everyone. I hear the laments about how it used to be and think "Did it really?"
The truth is Christmas was infinitely easier when you were a kid but do not think your parents and their parents before them didn't stress about what to get the kids, make the dinner and do all the things to create memories that you do in hopes they will last a lifetime. It wasn't better back then, it was just better for you because you weren't in charge. My memories of Christmas morning are magical but I also know my parents stayed up until 4 a.m. making it like that and worked hard to be able to afford all those wonderful presents. They made it look effortless and I know you all do the same for your families, never letting them peek behind the curtain because we all are just giving our best Wizard of Oz impression and keeping secret the whirling machinations of making Christmas happen. That is what so many people have and will do in perpetuity, make the season about everyone else in order to create something they think needs to be perfect and social media picture worthy without pausing and asking what do we really need to be happy. We are trying to be something we think we need to be and missing the mark on just being there and enjoying it all.
The guilt we feel or we let others impose on us around Christmas is another thing that has run its' course. The time when anyone can make you feel obligated to do anything is done. Why should you suffer toxic people or uncomfortable relationships just because you share an ancestor or parent? There isn't a rule that just because you are related to someone or it's a tradition that you need to expose you or the people you love to things that make all of you unhappy. I know it's not a popular thing to say but you do not have to go to a Christmas dinner/party if you don't want to. Being compelled to feel guilty isn't a reason to do anything and if someone is trying to do that maybe it's time to re-examine your relationship with that person. Why anyone who loves you would want you to feel displaced or forced to do something is a serious breach of being a loving partner or friend. You don't need anyone's permission to say "No."
The entire holiday season is supposed to be about spending time with people you love and enjoying them being happy as well as yourself. That's what we strive for and make so many Facebook status' about. The underlying stress and anxiety bubbles up in odd moments of clarity after your second pint but we work hard to appear perfect and normal to the world. It's time to step back a little and make time for yourself. The work you put into an amazing Christmas experience is awesome but if you can't enjoy any of it then what is the point. Less is more never meant so much as now when you need to slow it down and soak it all in. Stop trying to have everything and see what you have. Money buys great gifts but the time we spend with the people who make our lives better is indeed worth more. So let go and move on, say no more and focus on the things that matter most. The clock ticks for all of us and one day it will all just be memories, make them happy ones, for yourself and the people you love.
Make time for you this year, it will help you be a better person. Let go of toxic and harmful relationships, they do not have any claim on your time or life. Be there for the important moments for the people you want to be, make your presence felt and your love known. Learn to say no, let other people's guilt wash away and never look back when they try to make you feel bad. Christmas is supposed to be fun and filled with joy, you deserve it and it is time to make it happen.
Merry Christmas to all of you from me, thank you for your support and being a part of this crazy ride for the last 3 holiday seasons. May your family enjoy whatever you choose to do and may it bring you joy and happiness.