Oh Christmas – the time of the year when we spend weeks decorating everything in site with tinsel and baubles, visit numerous shopping centres swamped with people and slave away in the kitchen baking and prepping. How joyous and exciting this all sounds, I’m feeling the Christmas magic flowing through my veins. If you are reading this and guess I am sounding slightly sarcastic, you would be correct.
Although the Christmas magic is thoroughly enjoyed by every child that still believes, I mostly find this time of year stressful, expensive and exhausting. As a self confessed control freak, I continue to always go to the extreme at Christmas time and put myself under immense pressure to have everything exactly as the pictures on the cover of the latest magazine. I tried my best this year to sweep this all aside and really focus on what the celebration really represents and how I could seize the enjoyment.
I truly embraced the Christmas magic with my children and absorbed the excitement of the daily Santa countdown. But still, as the big day approached my panic set in and the expectation was set for the perfect day. Although my daily affirmation was “It is what it is”, subconsciously those traditional Christmas beliefs were engrained deep in my mind.
Society continues to portray the Christmas spirit as perfect table centrepieces and light garlands stretching for miles. But the true Christmas spirit can’t been captured with a picture or a festive cover of the Woman’s Day Magazine.
Real life Christmas is raw and lively. It is the burnt potatoes and the broken toys. It is the kids bickering and the toddler tantrums. It is the mounds of wrapping paper littered around the house and the lego under your feet. If the image in our minds of the perfect Christmas Day can be released, then it is possible to be present in the moment and cherish our loved ones around us. We are then able to embrace the laughter and cherish the excitement of Christmas magic.
It is not the lights, the food or the decorations that anyone remembers. Or how fantastic the Pavlova looked or tasted. We remember the slip and slide, the rain, the heat, the laughter, the pool games, the adventures. We remember the moments spent together and the laughter that is shared.
So if there is any advise I could give to my future Christmas self it would be to not sweat the small stuff, decorate however I like, serve the food that fills our bellies and embrace the Christmas that makes my soul happy.