I think there are two kinds of people. There’s the ones that LOOOVE Christmas. They get festive on the smell of pine needles and can’t wait to decorate the tree, make Xmas cookies, make cardboard stars dripping with glitter glue and sing Christmas carols day and night. Then there are the other people who don’t really get Christmas in the same way.
Personally I am the first kind of person. (But maybe a busy tired version). I love most of what Christmas is. However I also have high expectations, expecting family to come together, kids to get on, and I have visions of my pinterest perfect baking and Xmas dinner. The reality is not always quite...... what I hope for (actually it is rarely what I hope for). My christmas baking is never pinterest worthy (unless on the epic fail page), there is always a gift I have forgotten for a neighbours child or the preschool teacher, and the kids homemade gifts look, well, homemade.
Life is especially crazy this year, we are getting ready to move house, the kids are out of their routines and we have family staying. I said to my Mum that maybe she wanted to make Xmas cookies with my kids this year as I feel like I am running too fast. That there isn’t time. She said to me that that was my thing that I did with my girls. That they love it. That I do it every year. And she didn’t want to take that away from me. Or them. Even though she loves doing things with them.
So that’s it for me. This year we might just ice and decorate arrowroot biscuits instead of rolling and baking our own. In the end it’s the time I will spend with them, and the laughter we will make while we drip icing on the floor, and the train wreck cookies we will eat for the next week while they proudly exclaim – this is the one I made! – and I have to eat three cookies in one sitting so that I can taste one from each of them. It’s LOVE and TALKing and PLAYing together. Who knows we may even break into an carol or two while we do it. Out of tune of course J.
If you are not a Christmas person or for some reason you are struggling this Christmas, take it easy on yourself. Our version of Christmas and children’s versions might be quite different. Keep it simple. Lower the stress and expectations. Plan for some behaviour and know how you will deal with it calmly if it happens. Arrange some quiet time if kids (or adults) need it. Sit down and read a story or watch a DVD with your kids, snuggle and recharge. And if there are other things getting in the way this Christmas (you may have had a loss or a big stress in your life) get support if you need it from a friend, family or a professional.
The LTSRP project team wish you and your family all the best for the Christmas and holiday season. Xx