Lowering Stress at Christmas

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This article got me thinking about how stressful Christmas can be. We are usually dealing with the same income we have during the rest of the year, with the added burden of buying gifts, extra food, drinks and attending functions. It is easy to become anxious with the pressure! I had planned for my daughter and I to go on an overseas holiday for a week with friends this month. I had budgeted for it, and my daughter was so excited that she packed her suitcase months ago! Circumstances beyond my control led to me having to cancel. It broke my heart to disappoint my daughter, and I dreaded breaking the news to her. She put her arms around me, and said “it’s okay; we will go another time.” We surely will.

We are of the belief that things are meant to evolve for our highest good. If something can’t happen in that moment, then maybe it wasn’t meant to. Our time shall come, and it will be all the sweeter when it does. I underestimated my child’s reaction prior to her hearing that we would have to pull out. I think we do that sometimes; buying things we can’t really afford for people. Those that love you, truly love you; want you, not tokenism. They don’t want to see you in debt, stressed about paying off the credit card bills. She has already stated that the best Christmas present will be us being together. She has a little wish list that I am able to fulfil for Christmas (with Santa’s help).

The season is much more than gifts. It is helping those less fortunate, trips to the city to see the decorations. Carol services and playdates with friends. Swimming and a cheeky gin and tonic (for me). Reflecting on the year and how to build upon it in 2017. We can only do what we can do, and it’s okay to be honest with those around you that you can’t afford to do something (or buy it), at this time. Love is what it is all about!

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3 thoughts on “Lowering Stress at Christmas

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  1. When one’s physical capacities and income are low, and it is a struggle every week to make ends meet and to manage the basics of everyday life, the expectations around Christmas can become overwhelming. I am so pleased to read about Christmas being about helping others, sharing with others and not buying stuff. I asked my family and my extended family not to buy me gifts at Christmas. You should have heard the protest – they would feel guilty if they didn’t get me anything and then got something for everyone else. My solution was, if they felt strongly about giving a gift, to ask people to choose a charity and donate something – any amount will do, no need to disclose it to me, it doesn’t need to be much, any amount will do, any little bit will help – and to tell me which charity they chose and why. Out of a family of 16 people only one person followed through on my requests. That act by that one person means more to me than any material gift I could receive because it means that they are respecting me as a person and instead of spending money on a gift I don’t need, the money is going where it counts to help someone who does need money for services or support.

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