Creating a Lovely Christmas For You – A Different Approach
When was the last time you thought about what you would like Christmas (or any other important day), to feel like, look like, or involve?
Every year, we can find ourselves, busy, too stressed, and sometimes too grumpy, to enjoy the Christmas period. Often going back to work tired, demotivated, and wondering what happened.
Sometimes it is about how we experience Christmas, what we practically do. Or it can be around the expectations of what Christmas ‘should’ bring into our homes or relationships. Both of which can add a lot of pressure to the day, or break.
Is it time for a few tweaks or changes? Perhaps a complete rewrite?
If so, and you prefer a vlog with some of these top tips, you can find it here. Otherwise, take a look below.
Doing something different
Many of us have fallen into habits, go along with expectations, or forget to question what we truly want at Christmas. Whether that is trips, visits, who we buy presents for, how much we spend, what we wear, what we do, and more.
By spending a bit of time now, we can think ahead, reconnect to the Christmas feeling, and plan what we would genuinely like to experience.
And remember, if this is a tiring, or sometimes a tricky time of the year. Be kind to yourself (and others), practice the pause, and enjoy the moments.
We all know how stressful the Christmas period can be. Running around buying gifts, writing Christmas cards (forgetting someone), the food shopping, the outfit buying, the cooking, trying to visit every family member, early starts, motorway miles, the sudden influx of social invites, and so on.
Unfortunately, this means that rather than having a relaxing, fun, Christmas/festive/holiday break. We can often go back to work tired, frazzled, and already thinking of the next break or holiday.
We might mutter about what we didn’t enjoy about Christmas, yet rarely have a moment to stop and think in advance, about what we would want it to be.
So let’s stop, breathe, and do something different. Allow for some curiosity, notice where guilt comes up, and where it feels a little bit more exciting.
Your Lovely Christmas Day – Part I
I use the term ‘lovely’ loosely, the idea is to give you a chance to reflect on what you want, not to create a rod for your own back, compare yourself to adverts, or make it harder for yourself.
Here are some thoughts for you to reflect on.
Go with it, use your imagination, and see what comes to mind. Grab your pens and papers, and start scribbling.
Let’s begin. Starting with having a think about your lovely Christmas day.
Imagine you are in your bed, waking up on Christmas morning.
Remember, we are now imagining your ideal (if you could, for you) Christmas day.
You take a look at the clock. What time is it? (Yes, this might be challenging for parents, what would be lovely?)
How do you want to be woken up? Do the kids come running in with their stockings, do you have breakfast in bed with your partner, time put aside for you, a combination?
What would be a lovely morning ritual for you, and (if appropriate) the family?
Think first about your morning, and then your afternoon, finally your evening.
If you had a magic wand, for each part of your chosen Christmas day, what would it look like? Go ahead and write it down.
Who are you with?
Where are you?
How did you get there, and when?
What are you doing?
What are you wanting to eat, wear, watch, or talk about?
What does it look like for you?
Finished? Ok, take another look at your day.
For each part of it, write down how being with those people (if any) makes you feel. Why do you love those activities? What do you see, smell, notice? Make the experience as rich as you can. Is it realistic for you, does it feel sound, grounding, interesting, exciting? Be as clear as you can about what it might involve.
Now imagine you are in your bed, snuggled in, and thinking back on your lovely Christmas day.
What feeling describes your day?
What do you appreciate about your day?
What are you grateful for about your day?
Who, or what, have you enjoyed?
As you reflect, keep that curiosity going. Let go of how it might happen, or any shoulds that might come up. Keep generating ideas, be creative. If it comes to mind, jot it down. Don’t rule it out before pen reaches the paper.
Your Lovely Christmas Day – Part II
Now that you have lots of ideas about your day, you can start to reflect on how you can make it happen.
Looking through your notes, what stands out to you? What feels like the most important change? Or that will have the greatest impact?
Start to sort through them, prioritise them, and then look at your top actions.
Focusing on your top changes, or actions, what do you need to do next, or to work through, to make those things happen.
You might also, choose to reflect on how you can make the whole day a bit better. By focusing on what you can do to make it 5% 10%, 50% better.
What do you notice? Are there any ‘oughts’ or ‘shoulds’ that might pop up for you. We all know how much fun they can be. How can you make those easier, delegate, or let them go?
What about any challenges, or challenging people, what can you do to make those situations 5% 10%, 50% better.
What do you need to say no to, and how can you get support to make that happen?
Your Lovely Christmas Break – Beyond
If you haven’t already done so, go back and pick some of those actions or changes, which excite you the most. Or, feel the most important for your wellbeing, or enjoyment, and decide what you are going to do next to make it happen.
This may include, some of those actions being involved in creating a new plan for next year, if you can’t make it happen for this.
Extend this reflection, to your family. Ask them what they would like for their Christmas, and bring it back into a discussion, to see how it might all be combined. You might be surprised about what people want.
If you want to extend it further, you can use the same questions to think about any other day during the festive break that is important to you, the whole break, or any special occasion you have in the year.
Did anything new come into your Christmas, or get moved out of your Christmas, as a result? Do let me know.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you have a peaceful and loving time.