Lifestyle: Have Yourself a Mindful Little Christmas
I still struggle with the concept that Christmas isn't like in the movies.
I mean I understand the films aren't not real, but it doesn't stop us wanting, or feeling like that's how it should be. I'm my own worse enemy really because I'm a sucker for a Hallmark Christmas film.
The plot is essentially the same in each. Person A doesn't like Christmas, is from the City, is addicted to work or a widower, doesn't want to fall in love - all five - even better. There's snow, but not enough to cause travel disruption, unless Person A needs to be trapped in a location. Person B - lives in the country, loves Christmas, bakes cookies, Person A will learn the spirit of Christmas and love, and everybody lives happily ever after baking cookies - or something like that, but whats for sure is that they will, without question, get together by Christmas, even if it is last minute, which it will be, but somehow everything will be perfect.
It's no wonder then on Christmas Day that I sit there and think 'Is that it then?' I don't mean I'm ungrateful, I just mean that so much pressure is put on the day itself, can it ever live up to expectations?
I love Christmas, yet I'm not a fan of the day itself. It's not seemed right for years. I prefer the build up to it, the excitement and expectation that we're all going to have the 'Cookie ending'. Once the day is over, I enjoy Boxing Day, then that weird time in between Christmas and New Year when no one knows what day it is, nor cares. Then comes the emptiness. Its over for another year and I vow to make next Christmas a better one - you know, like in the films.
My Dad died 15 days before Christmas. For years I hated it. The constant reminders that come with that time of year. Then something changed. I wanted the magic of Christmas again, be that in decorations, watching Christmas films or whatever. My Ex didn't get it. He told me I was searching for this magical Christmas that didn't exist and partook in few of the experiences I had tried to create.
When we split I had felt I had free reign to do Christmas my way, which I did enjoy more, but something was still missing. It took me years before I realised I was actually searching for and trying to subconsciously recreate the Christmas's of the past. If only you could appreciate them at the time. Being a kid at Christmas, with nothing to worry about other than whether you'd get what was on your Christmas list and manage not to throw up the ton of chocolate you'd eaten before Christmas dinner. I'd love to experience Christmas through my childhood eyes again.
I guess the best I can hope for now is that everyone is safe and well, this year more than any. I think the goal is to have a hitch free Christmas rather than magical. We all need to be grateful for what we have got because one day we'll look back and long for this time.
It might sound like sentimental slush, but if this year has taught us anything as humans, it is to appreciate what we have. Can we all just try a little harder, chill a lot more and show love this Christmas. It's what we all yearn for, to be loved, appreciated and valued. Humans have a knack of giving and taking those particular feelings away easily and without much thought. Can we all just try and show a little more empathy and compassion?
Maybe Christmas is really about the films, rather than to be like them, just to sit, relax and enjoy. Have a bit of you time. Embrace the sentiment at the heart of them, without the added pressure.
It goes beyond presents as you get older. The greatest gift someone can give now isn't material, it is to make another feel loved and appreciated, safe and wanted.