In case you have been hiding in a cupboard Christmas day is this week. I have had many conversations with people about Christmas and Christmas Day, almost a repeat of the conversations had last year. In particular, how it makes people feel and what it means to them.
So rather than reinvent the wheel, here is a portion of my blog from last year.
“The majority of blogs and posts tell you to have a wonderful time, enjoy the moments with loved ones and family. What these posts fail to take into account is that not everyone has family close by, some have lost loved ones, some are estranged from family and Christmas is not necessarily a joyful time. So these sentiments whilst well intentioned can often have a negative impact on the reader. So from me to you, whatever you do or do not celebrate, whoever you are with, miss or think about – my wish is that you be safe.
There appears to be 4 main categories, those that: Love Christmas, Are sitting on the fence, Hate Christmas or Christmas is a sad time.
They may love it for family, community or religious reasons. These folks may spend their day at Church, donating their time to the less fortunate, or at a large or small family gathering where Santa may or may not have spewed decorations all over the place, where there may or may not be an abundance of gifts that are generally returned or stuck in a cupboard or an over indulgence of food and beverages. And that is ok if this is your choice.
Are sitting on the fence
These are the folks that can take it or leave it, they may or may not be fussed with the total consumerism, they may or may not have decorations – it really does not matter to them. They are generally not religious and see the day as just another day, maybe one to catch up with loved ones but they are not into the excess, and if they spend the day at home with their own company – they are totally ok with that. And the rest of us should be as well.
Again very varied reasons. A sense of obligation, it is a once a year commitment but there is nothing they like about the day that they feel is forced upon them, the excess in everything, buying gifts (seen as wasting money) or spending the day with people that they don’ t like, and given the opportunity they just wouldn’t. These people will often complain about having to do the right thing. Remember life is full of choices, yes there may be some that are upset with your decision, but this is your life, so decide what you do with your time wisely.
Christmas is a sad time
Now this can be for many reasons, a past bad experience, too many years of too many expectations, mental health concerns, estrangement, death of a loved one or loneliness. These are the people that my heart goes out to. I myself am a fence sitter, I can however appreciate that with the commercialism and hype that now precedes Christmas, that those who perceive that they are not able to be a part of the celebration, can somehow feel that their life is lacking, that It can make whatever feelings they are experiencing worse.
So I say at this time of varied experiences and expectations, be mindful of those who are not as fortunate, be kind and considerate to those in need, take the time to not let someone be lonely, and definitely don’t let anyone you know (even if just on the peripheral) become a statistic.
If you are someone who struggles at this time of year – please don’t go it alone, reach out, there are many organisations and many people who are there wanting to help, waiting to lend an ear. Please see numbers below:
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Lifeline – 13 11 14
If you are aware of any other free services in your area that provide assistance at this time of year, please feel free to access my Facebook page and note the details in the comments section.