I love Christmas, it’s such a special magical time not only to connect with friends and family but also to reflect on the year and perhaps start to think about creating some goals for the new year.
However, it can also be a time where things can get a little crazy and instead of celebrating and connecting with what Christmas means, it can become a complicated epic event. A time when we feel like we need to do everything, have the perfect Christmas table, the perfect Christmas food, buy the perfect gift, see everyone, we strive for perfection. Before we know it, another Christmas has gone without us ever having the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate it.
For me, I usually have the shopping done, the menu sorted and plans all done by now. But, with having just come back from a hockey sporting trip in Adelaide I am a bit behind with organising my Christmas.
In the past I would be somewhat freaking out about being behind, but I’m not going to let it get to me. It’s been a massive year for myself and my family and what really is important is to celebrate the year, being together, creating memories and having that much needed break. I trust that everything will all fall into place.
As I am writing this a couple of my boys are making a batch of Christmas cookies, I can hear the music and other noises in the kitchen, the smell of Christmas cookies is quickly melting those anxious thoughts of what does the kitchen look like. It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas.
Here are a few tips I created to help bring back the celebration of Christmas allowing you to enjoy the magic of Christmas.
1. Strive for being present instead of perfection this Christmas. Perfection doesn’t exist, the more you try to achieve this the less likely you will be present over the Christmas period. Resulting in you feeling tired, stressed, overwhelmed and forgetting or completely missing those special moments that happen over Christmas.
2. Don’t over commit. It’s ok to say no. You don’t need to go to every event or make everything. At this time of year, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of saying yes, all the time. Give yourself a a little more time to think whether can commit to something or not.
3. Avoid having to spend hours in the kitchen. I create a Christmas menu that doesn’t require much cooking on Christmas day. I cook a few days prior to Christmas which means I can relax and enjoy the food and the day. Keep the food simple, select recipes that doesn’t require you to be in the kitchen for hours, try to choose recipes that you can make a few days before or ones that you can prepare everything a day out and assemble on the day.
4. Ask for help. If you are having the family over for Christmas ask people to bring a plate, make a dessert. Get the kids involved in preparing the food, the table, yes, get the kids to decorate the table. I have done this for years and while at times it’s not exactly how I would do it (great exercise for the perfectionist within) but they enjoy it so much creating those precious magical memories Christmas is all about. As an example, one Christmas my boys had decorated the table with curling ribbon which was wrapped around so many items on the table it was quite the challenge to eat or drink from the table. I loved it and the boys were so proud of it, making for some very funny and beautiful memories. By the way if you don’t have kids, this applies to your partner too.
5. Create meaningful memories, after all isn’t that what Christmas is all about, coming together celebrating love, life, and laughter. Give yourself a few minutes each day to stop and reflect on what Christmas truly means to you. Just maybe you might come up with something that is missing that you can add to your celebrations this year.
Above all celebrate how amazing it is that you are celebrating another Christmas. Remember for some this time of year can be so difficult, share the Christmas love through acts of kindness. A smile, saying to someone they look lovely, wishing people a Merry Christmas. These small acts of Christmas kindness go a long way to sharing the spirit and magic of Christmas to everyone including you.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas