Not everyone uses the standard adjectives to describe Christmas. In a sea of forced exhortation and compulsory merrymaking, there are those who simply cannot muster the spirit. For some this year has been their toughest. Those who wrangle their demons daily face an annual avalanche of compulsory and a vast gulf of misunderstanding at this time of year that can push them to the brink.
Christmas can all too easily magnify our struggles as we strive for the fuqed up facade. Schooled as we have been on a diet of vaseline lens movies and trilling wellwishers, the approach of the big day can magnify the gap between how we really feel at Christmas versus what it is supposed to look like. Pushing harder, spending or drinking more does not make it so.
I genuinely believe the antidote is giving, not coincidentally said to be the true meaning of the season.
Start by giving yourself permission to make healthy choices that work for you. Set firm boundaries and stick to them, one of the grestest gifts you can give yourself ever.
If you don’t want to or it doesn’t feel right or it’s a Christmas shitfight in the making, give yourself the day off. Let it be any other day and do just what makes you feel good, sans guilt or judgement.
If you know times are tougher than usual for those around you, give them a break. Or a hand. Don’t ask what’s wrong when you know. Make kindness your practice. The greatest gift you can give anyone is to allow them to be themselves: whatever that looks like and however that feels.
Teach someone about empathy, a gift that keeps on giving and in awfully short supply when Christmas crazy takes hold. The best teachers are those who lead by example.
And if you find yourself spiralling the wrong way, consider giving to someone worse off. Hell yes they are out there. It always lifts a weary spirit to take the dire focus and shift it outwards.
Forget about the awful festive imperatives, they weren’t created with you in mind. Mainline the giving that this season is alleged to be built upon. Begin with you.
© Kerrie Basha, 2017