Drilling and hammering have been all around me since the start of December. It looks like our neighbours have decided to install a new kitchen.
In Poland, in the particular tradition I grew up with, there had to be a TWELVE course dinnerfor the main meal, no matter your means or energy available. Because it was “mean” and “bad luck” not to.
I vividly remember the inevitable exhaustion and how stress marred the hoped for celebration.
In UK where I’ve lived most of my adult life, I see many people ending up in debt year after year in order to “meet” their festive traditions. People seem to resign themselves to the money dread in January in order not to be judged a Scrooge in December.
So much pressure.
Is it to bring love and comfort?
But do these HAVE to come at such high price?
Whose boxes are we ticking?
As a child, I was very confused by the Christmas intention of “joy” yet experiencing a LOT of stress. But I didn’t have a way to question it.
So I got enrolled into the compulsory overdoing and then feeling so spent that I couldn’t truly appreciate being alive and what I was given.
I might still be having super stressed Decembers if it wasn’t for the grace of meeting a woman who modeled a different attitude to Christmas for me.
Until then, to omit a Christmas expectation seemed shameful to me. But here was this kind, intelligent teacher who wrote her Christmas cards not before but during the holiday.
When she said WHY she was doing it, I understood the difference between ticking boxes and love:
She’d write when she had time to truly connect with the recipient in her heart.
What gives true comfort
So I want to leave you with this reminder of what gives true comfort at Christmas or any time of year:
Identify what matters most to you before you choose to do something and let THAT help you decide how to proceed.
And if the Christmas pressure gets you doing too much and feeling depleted from it, pause to check in with what matters again.
In every moment, there’s another chance to stop ticking boxes and act from what matters.
And if you find, come January, that your money got depleted anyway, you can learn better budgeting with me in Wales.