Christmas was not my favourite time of the year because it had all become too difficult. Christmas was only ever referred to as ” F***ing Christmas”. Life in a standard nuclear family (if there is such a thing these days) is hard enough but in a blended family it takes on a whole new meaning. There are the usual demands of shopping for gifts and festive fare, stretched finances and fitting in visits to our loved ones and friends, but these issues seemed to be multiplied tenfold in when it came to our Christmas.
Our family Christmas experience could only be described as madness. Timetables to negotiate with ex-wives, ex- husbands, extended family (my husband’s parents are divorced as well which is like the icing on our “madness cake”), shopping, gifts, Christmas trees, office functions, busy work schedules, catching up with friends…the list seemed endless. I would actually have heart palpitations as the “festive” season drew closer.
One year we trekked from Doncaster to Avondale Heights for lunch with my family, rambled back to North Balwyn to drop off my son at his father’s, slogged off to Geelong to collect my husband’s children, lumbered to Ballarat for dinner with my in-laws and journeyed to Dandenong the next day for lunch with my other set of in-laws. This was Madness!
The children were tired and emotional and we could not relax. After that Christmas “critical mass” we reassessed our priorities and let go of some of the “Should’s”. Was it really worth all of that anxiety, the arguments, stress and tears? Why inflict all of this pressure on ourselves and our loved ones?
People have confided in me that they were embarrassed for not putting up their Christmas tree as if it were some kind of heinous crime. Are some of our so called traditions weighing us down rather than making us feel good?
Traditions are wonderful for promoting a feeling of connection with the people we love and care about. The moment that they prevent us from feeling good about ourselves is the time to create new traditions that suit our lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to break new ground.
Our new tradition is that we will only go to one function on Christmas Day and work everything else around that.
4 Tips for a Stress Free Christmas
- Don’t do too much on any one day
- Implement a “Secret Santa” for family
- Spread Christmas visits over the entire festive season. Make each visit special! Catch up with friends early.
- Do what you really want to do and give your 100% love to it
Let Christmas be a time where we connect with the spirit of the season. Let’s enjoy, love and project all the goodness within ourselves to the people we love. I am now looking forward to a Christmas Day full of love, good times and lots of laughter.
I wish your family blessings of peace, harmony & love. MERRY XMAS from my family to yours xx