Christmas, your way

I’ve read a few posts this week about the pressure of Christmas, one particularly mean spirited one suggesting that if you make presents or an advent calendar or cards you are a smug mother. Oh, how we all laughed. Another, written by The Secret Blogger on the Tots100 suggesting that the writer felt like they were failing at Christmas because they didn’t follow certain traditions that they had seen on social media. It made me really sad to think that someone feels they are failing at Christmas. Surely no-one actually fails at Christmas?

The suggestion is that Christmas has become competitive and a reason to show off. That may be true, but I’m not sure that it’s become competitive. Haven’t people always wanted to impress their Christmas guests with nice food and a well dressed table.

What I don’t really understand is why these people are so bothered about other people’s Christmases and more importantly why they think that anyone else is bothered about their Christmas. Do what you want. Follow the Christmas traditions that suit you. I do not think for a moment that anyone with a homemade advent calendar or an elf on the shelf thinks any less of someone who has a chocolate bought calendar.

For instance, we have an advent calendar that I made from a kit a couple of years ago and I love it. it builds the kids up gradually to Christmas and I don’t get pestered about when we’re getting our tree or seeing Father Christmas, as they just wait for the card to come out of the calendar. However, that creepy Elf leaves me cold and so we don’t do it. I don’t believe anyone is checking my Instagram feed and tutting because there is no Elf on it.

We also make lots of presents. We are both busy, but are also on a tight budget and frankly we enjoy it and got fed up with just giving the latest autobiography to people who are impossible to buy for, so we make the time. If you don’t enjoy making things, then don’t do it. I don’t care and I am sure that no-one else does.

I will admit, you may have seen me on Twitter ranting that it’s all started to early and being baffled at trees going up on the 1st December. It does make me think we’ll all be sick of the sight of trees by the 25th and I’m not sure I like the assumption that it is because early Christmassers love it more than anyone else. However, I’ve come to conclusion that I don’t really care that much what other people do. It isn’t going to change how we choose to enjoy and celebrate the festive season. I certainly won’t ever put my tree up on the 1st and that is my choice, just as doing so may be yours.

There are things that I see other people doing and think I’d like that and just don’t have the time or the budget. I quite fancy a Christmas Wreath, especially as we have guests around Christmas time, but I don’t think I’ll get around to organising one, there are just too many other things on my list. Maybe next year I’ll go and make one, I think I’d enjoy that, but maybe I won’t. I certainly won’t be sobbing that I’m a #Christmasfail because there is no wreath on my door.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that Christmas is a busy and stressful time, even though it is a lovely and relaxing time too. There is so much to do and it all has to be done by a certain day. Social commitments suddenly treble, or even quadruple, there are presents to organise, cards to be sent and food to plan. Those pressures are going to be there regardless of whether you are looking at someone else’s Christmas and comparing to theirs.

And I guess that’s kind of my main point. EVERYONE is super busy and feeling a little pressured, whether they have an elf or a chocolate calendar, a real or an artificial tree, do all their shopping at the computer, make it all or face the crowds in the high street. Everyone is busy and so no-one is looking at your Christmas, they are too busy making their own how they want it to be and shouldn’t we all be allowed to do that, without being told we are either smug or failing?

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4 thoughts on “Christmas, your way

  1. Oh hear, hear! You have put into words exactly how I’ve been feeling, I reached a point last week when I felt I shouldn’t mention Christmas for fear of upsetting people!

    My Christmas has evolved over a very long period of time – We’ve been making our own for 25 years now, starting with a piece of ribbon on a pot plant in our grotty first floor flat and, gradually, each year we’ve added to it.

    With children came my opportunity to indulge my inner child and create a bit of magic and Christmas chez Thinly Spread is now brimming with traditions. That doesn’t mean previous Christmasses were ‘fails’, it doesn’t mean that if I don’t get round to making a pudding and buy one instead or a tradition gets jetissoned for lack of time that I have somehow ‘failed’ and I’m certainly not looking at everyone else and judging them! I have been pinning ideas like mad but I won’t get round to making any of them – I just like looking at them, just as I enjoy looking at magazines – they make me feel festive.

    I like sharing ideas with my friends on social media just as I would point at a picture in a magazine and say ‘Oooh, look at that isn’t it lovely’ if you were here with a cuppa and a mince pie. Equally, I like sharing what I’ve been up to via my blog and social media. I’m not doing it to make other people feel bad, I’m certainly not smug – I do the bits I enjoy, what’s wrong with that?

    If social media, blogging, pinterest or the internet in general make you feel like you are failing, walk away from it and do what makes you feel good instead.

  2. Yes, you are right, if you feel that you are failing, that, I think is *your* problem. We get a bit carried away in this house and I suppose one of our traditions is that the tree does go up either on or close to the 1st. I would have been horrified by this just a few years ago but for various reasons it feels right now. Although I am very happy to celebrate Christmas within the Christian tradition (my children are in a C of E school) I also feel that really, now, we are just trying to push winter and the darkness to one side by lighting up, decorating and celebrating.

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