Feeling frantic before Christmas? Why do we do this to ourselves? 74



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When did New Year 2015 turn into 63 Days until Christmas? There was a time when the end of October signalled to me that it’s time to:

  • buy Christmas Cards so I can mail them on 1 December;
  • invite dozens of people to drop by at Christmas, then order enormous quantities of food just in case they did;
  • clean all the cupboards, just in case some of those guests opened one and found out it was a mess;
  • get GOM painting all the areas I thought looked shabby;
  • take down and wash curtains (just in case the “guests” noticed they hadn’t been washed since they were here last year);
  • put myself into debt for presents “in case someone brought one for me”;
  • totally renovate the bathroom so it looked nice;
  • ditto to the garden so the guests could sit outside;
  • organise numerous Christmas parties for the company who employ me;
  • attend so many parties between November and the middle of December that my liver was pickled and I don’t even drink;
  • finally arriving at Christmas morning thanking my stars, that this so-called “holiday season” was almost over.

Frantic – Not Me!

Certainly, there are things I planned to finish before another year came around; things such as bringing about world peace – perhaps if I make that Christmas 2,000,015 I may have a shot! However, there are things I can do to achieve a modicum of peace; Let go of old grievances, Say sorry, Thank you, Can I help? It may not change the world, but it will change my immediate world. This I can achieve before Christmas.

I love my garden and planned this year to do a little landscaping; even went as far drawing up a plan and buying the logs to create the garden beds. Once these were created, I would use the replaced materials to reinvigorate my veggie patch. I also decided to have my own version of a living wall on one side of our outdoor area, creating some privacy, but also colour and life.

Well, the living wall is up and partially planted – finishing it is a possibility before 25 December. The logs for the garden are aging nicely, but the garden beds aren’t built. The veggie patch can’t be completed until I complete the flower beds, so maybe I’ll just change the date on this one!

I am a Christmas tragic and plan my decorations each year so that on 1 December I turn on the lights and the decorations stay until Twelfth Night (6 January).  I have a feeling that this year, the decorations may be limited to a few favourite items – there is so much going on in my life at present that putting aside the best part of a month to decorate is just not on the cards – pun intended!

Now there was a time when the above would have mocked me, now I look at what has made life wonderful this year:

  • We welcomed a new baby, another great-nephew.
  • Hubby had a heart operation which has given him a better quality of life.
  • I took on a new career. Actually two new careers, one regular part-time and the other on a relief basis.
  • Had time in Sydney with old and new friends, including the 50th Anniversary of leaving school with my Leaving Certificate in 1965.
  • Met friends for lunch every month.
  • One reason I won’t finish my decorations is that we are going to Perth for a very special family celebration at the beginning of December.
  • Did two online courses; one on Country Houses in English Literature the other on Cultural Awareness.
  • Date nights have been added to our lives, frequently a movie on half price Tuesday. When I write it down, I’ve had a pretty good year!

Why get ulcers trying to finish in 63 days what has eluded me the other 300 days? The world really won’t self-destruct if my cupboards are not photo shoot worthy; the garden looks wonderful just as it is and the curtains will have to wait! I have a life to live.

The best thing about “the getting of wisdom” is learning to be kind to yourself – you deserve kindness as much as anyone.

So share – are you getting frantic about Christmas? Will you get “everything” finished before Christmas and does it matter if you don’t?

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Karen O'Brien-Hall

I've had many careers in my life and loved each one! My new career blossomed when I retired and become an OAP. I am passionate about childhood literacy, books in general and my garden. I love Ballet, Opera, Concerts, Theatre, (both professional and community) and Movies. I tend to have opinions on most things and enjoy a good debate about the topic, not the person. In my thirties, I married my GOM (Gorgeous or Grumpy Old Man) the love of my life.

  1. I think it’s a women’s thing to take on the responsiblity of keeping everyone happy and having their needs met…expectations are high at Xmas time and the responsibility generally falls on the women’s shoulders

    2 REPLY
  2. I don’t go to church so I don’t do Christmas. It’s become far too commercialised for my liking

  3. Ignore it and it might go away. Over hyped over blown and I’m over it! Our family has made a pact of no Christmas presents except fot the youngest members a huge weight off everyone’s shoulders. Christmas “dinner” is a casual lunch with family and friends.

  4. I am frantic but not about Christmas. Sold our house last Wednesday, bought a villa on Thursday. Going on a cruise for 3 weeks in 3 weeks time. I have 3 weeks to clean out 16 years of junk and 2 weeks to move when we get back. Then Christmas will be 8 days away then I will get frantic about Christmas ha ha,

    9 REPLY
  5. The more you stress, the more hopless you will feel, just take a deep breath you have plenty of time , we are only in October

  6. What a difference a couple of days makes, my son rang me last night to ask me could he take me out for Christmas lunch, I quickly said yes, and I am not buying him gifts, I am giving him some gift vouchers for Bunnings , he is a home handy man and he can buy what he wants with them. I have invited 2 friends around here for dinner and it will just be simple , prawn and ham and salads , so my day is set

    8 REPLY
  7. Simple solution! Forget Christmas! Just refuse to let it dominate your life. Do what we did; after feeling under pressure about Christmas for years, the expectations, the disappointments, we just told our family we are opting out! Now, all is calm, all is bright!

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