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‘Tis the Season to be jolly?

Janes Top Tips for Christmas

I recently read an article by a ‘lifestyle guru’ regarding the run up to the festive season.

To make for an enjoyable Christmas the following was suggested:

1. It is vital to have a clean home.   Ah yes, tick (Well??!!)

2. Hang up homemade decorations.  No home is complete without a handcrafted gingerbread house. This feat of engineering I assume is to be made by cute little ‘urchins’ to add charm to your home.

3. Bake fresh cookies that you and your little ones can decorate together. In reality you will be finding sprinkles, icing and jelly tots (other sweeties are available!) stuck on the curtains to be discovered in August.

4. Create a warm atmosphere. Use shaggy rugs in the living room and invest in a log burner (?!).

I must admit I gave up at this point.  I really don’t want shaggy rugs, they are a nightmare to get Playdoh out of.

There is a serious point to all this though. Christmas can be a great time for lots of people but not so much for others.  We tend to ask too much of ourselves. Everything needs to be ‘perfect’ including a feast fit for a king (good luck with that in my house, if it’s edible I give myself a pat on the back!). Financial difficulties are often felt more keenly at this time of year especially when we feel pressured into providing that ‘must have’ toy or item of expensive jewellery.

Social media can also skew our ideas that everyone is having a fabulous time and if we aren’t, there must be something wrong with us!  This needs to be a season of not gritting your teeth until it’s all over or having false jollity but embracing the good and not worrying about the not so good. 

So my  tips for an enjoyable Christmas are:

  1. Nothing will be ‘perfect’ so don’t even try to be.  Good is good enough!

2. The house will likely look as if it has been turned upside down and shaken – this is particularly true if there are small children or pets involved so why worry about a bit of dirt?

3. Remember that some people become more aware that they are on their own. I have made a promise to myself that I will call in and see some elderly neighbours and give an hour of my time just to chat. I know this will give me a warm glow, so this is as much for my benefit as theirs. I will not force any of my mince pies on them though.

4. Try not to get sucked into the superficial social media ‘stuff’. Remember – live your life not report on every single aspect if it will make someone else feel inadequate.

5. Above all keep your sense of humour.   What does it really matter if you get an itchy jumper from your Great Aunt that brings you out in hives?  Yes this did happen to me!!

Enjoy, relax, get out into the fresh air if possible or whatever you enjoy doing and appreciate everything you do have.

By Jane Thomas

Volunteer Support Officer