Simplify Christmas

So every year, we all anticipate many things about Christmas.

Some of us have memories about Christmas long past ~ so we have a very different experience ~  as we open the Christmas Box to find decorations our daughters or sons made when they were very young.  You find so many memories in the Green “Christmas”  boxes that you have saved for so many years…. And, then to top it off, once the tree is up  you seem to cry!!!   Hello……..         What is that about.       Come on grow up.

I look at the old stockings of Jenny and Sarah;  that my Mother-in-law knitted for them and I am overwhelmed with nostalgia.  The pictures taken long ago with the entire family grinning.    And, I’m thinking,  this Christmas thing is so crazy.   I’m getting tired of this overwhelming emotion and nostalgia about Christmases gone by…….

Then,  there are the amazing parties ~ but, way too many of them and you never make them all.  You get invited to a great jam, the same night as a dinner party;   the extended family party is announced 2 months ahead of time and you haven’t even had a chance to think about Christmas yet, let alone commit to something that you are not sure you can handle anyway.

I’m not sure when Christmas seemed to go off the rails for me – don’t get me wrong and I really do enjoy parts of the holiday; it’s just that I feel extremely overwhelmed by it all, and have for several years now.   I often become ill and always have symptoms of anxiety.   I actually don’t like socializing for days at a time.  (this might be very hard for my friends to believe!)   I really do need my down time and, I think we all do.  For that reason, I am thinking that there are millions of people who feel the same way and we need to simplify Christmas.

After much thinking,   I have come up with 5 recommendations for people over 50, at Christmas Time.

  1.  Don’t count on your grown children to be responsible for your Christmas.  Leave them alone to enjoy their young children.  That time is so fleeting and they do not need to spend hours in the car driving to your house.  You’ll likely see them eventually ~ the guilt will eat them up.  Be sure of that.
  2. Don’t complain about anything.  Not your health, the weather, your friend’s health,  whether or not you have the Christmas Spirit.  Just be.  In fact, be quiet.
  3. Try really hard not to talk about the past for too long.  Sure, share the odd story but more importantly pay attention to the young ones.  Hang out with them.  Listen to what happened to them last week – how was their Christmas concert?  How have they been feeling.  And Really Listen – don’t be satisfied with one word answers.  Be an investigative reporter and keep the conversation going.  You can do it.  You are the adult!
  4. Don’t write blogs about Christmas and expect your family to read it!!  That’s a funny one.  I find writing this blog helps me remind myself not be a pain in the ass.
  5. Do not complain about Christmas or talk about the “I Hate Christmas” Facebook page (I already did this!  I loved the one where a bunch of scrooges end up in the basement of a bar in red suits and ski masks and go about smashing Christmas Trees…it was SOOO funny.  I was roaring with laughter!  Check it out.  Only in Britain would that happen ~ crazy bunch.)  But, don’t tell your daughter!  You see, your job is to be positive and remember how much you did LOVE Christmas when you were their age.  How much you LOVED being Santa and doing all the baking, cooking, cleaning and presents – because you had control back then.  And, you loved it!  You loved every minute of it……and you can’t go back.

Cheers Everyone and Merry Christmas! xoxo

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