There is no denying that Christmas will be very different this year and now with Tier 4; many of us will be separated from loved ones and our families.
I know I will still inevitably pile on the pressure to make sure we try and have the ‘best Christmas' and that we really celebrate together.
Sadly there is no Festive Fairy sprinkling her magic this Christmas Eve to make all the hard work happen. It takes some serious preparation and steely determination, as we race towards the finish line. Fighting to wrap the last present in time and to deliver a delicious Christmas meal before midnight. All whilst thinking that if we really wanted to get all this done in time, we should have started the prep back in August rather than December. But get it done we will.
So whilst it might be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful. And unsurprisingly statistics show it is mostly women who take on the bulk of the load. I find it’s the small things that tend to add up. It’s finding and buying meaningful presents for teachers and colleagues, who have gone above and beyond during the crisis this year. Writing Christmas cards to distant relatives and loved ones so they know we’re thinking of them. Buying presents online and praying for an early delivery. By the time Santa puts in an appearance, we’re exhausted and on our knees from the mental load. And that’s before we’ve even started basting the turkey!
So how on earth do we get through it all with our sanity still in tact?
If you haven’t already, spend the next couple of days prepping as much as possible. We may mock those who have pre-ordered their turkey, and bought and wrapped all their presents in November, but those are the people who are floating serenely through the season, stress free and without an increasingly obvious eye twitch.
I’ve also realised I need to be realistic with my expectations for the day. If you’re anything like me, with a need for perfection that can teeter into OCD, we need to accept that not everything will always be perfect or run smoothly. There is always going to be something we’ve forgotten, and there will always be conflict in one form or another. It is impossible to keep everyone happy all day long, so it’s best to relinquish control and let the events unfold, as they will, ideally with a glass of something in hand.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the madness of Christmas, as we try to meet the impossible expectations we so often set for ourselves. But if 2020 has taught me anything it’s that we need to live in the moment, as we never know what is waiting just around the corner for us.
No one could have predicted how difficult this year has been for us all. We deserve to let go for one day and try to enjoy Christmas without condition. Me, I will drink a little too much Prosecco, play board games and eat the giant Lindor ball and go to bed far too late. Try and still make some memories you want to remember and forget about the rest.