December has been something of a blur. Again. With work and blogging and carol concerts and shopping and wrapping and all the other things. It’s been even busier than normal, for reasons that will become apparent in the new year. Once again I hit Christmas morning with a sigh of relief and a slightly stressed out demeanour. The list (lists) of things I have to do before my family come over is much bigger than I wanted it to be, I didn’t get time to put the main tree up this year, and I am feeling a little bit, well, frazzled. I would go as far as saying that my “overtired” has turned into “exhausted”.
It’s inevitable. We all do it. We rush through December as though everything depends on having the right cranberry sauce. We stress over whether or not to serve Yorkshire Puddings with the Christmas Dinner. We worry about having enough chairs or plates or how sticky the floor is after making the buttercream. We rush around the shops bumping into people, getting more and more frustrated at the surly cashiers or families taking up the full width of the pavement as they dawdle along. And then there is the added pressure of making sure we buy wrapping paper that can actually be recycled by our local council, or realising too late you really should have used string instead of sticky tape because you want to be plastic clever. Don’t mention how much we feel obliged to have the perfect instagrammable pile of presents.
But it’s okay. It doesn’t matter. Not really. Not at all. At Christmas, today, this week, none of those things are actually important. You know this… Christmas isn’t about decorations, cards, presents, doing chores or being up to date. And it certainly isn’t about having the right cranberry sauce or cleaning a sticky floor. And it is never about how good the photos look on facebook. Life isn’t about those things either. Rather it is all about love and kindness and being a good soul. And thankfully those things are much easier to fit in. And they involve a whole load less stress.
I am now off work for a week. I am looking forward to some time at home, getting some of those chores done, spending time with family, eating some good home cooked food (today we’re having home made cottage pie and apple crumble… might not be traditional Christmas food but it works for us), having plenty of time outside walking and enjoying the fresh air, catching up with friends, making some plans for 2018 (and oh what plans!), and generally making the most of a little time to myself. It is such an important week in my year; I have time to catch up with my own thoughts, put things in order, and recharge the batteries.
I hope that whatever you are doing over the Christmas period, however frazzled you are after your December, however you celebrate, whether you are switching off and having a break or whether you are still online and/or working, that you will find time for the important things. And if it all gets a bit too much, please take a moment – in your living room or on top of a hill somewhere – for some deep breaths and calming thoughts, to remember what life is supposed to be about; making time for the people, places and things that matter most to you.
Life is all about the journey. Have a very Happy Christmas xx