Friday, 20 December 2013

'Merry' or 'Miserable' Christmas?

This year, I had my decorations up early.  Usually I wait a bit longer, but this time I had pleasure in the arrival of this time of year.  I was glad that I had 'survived' another work/ school year, that my family was together, happy and healthy.  I was eager to start celebrating with my family and friends because it was now Summer here in Australia, a season that I adore and I just took a deep breath in preparation for what was to come.  
It was December and that meant long days and warm nights.........but it also meant that I had a lot of work cut out for me over the next few weeks.  I had to make sure that Santa didn't disappoint my 3 young kids, I had to make sure that our meal on Christmas Day was superb and at the same time, carry on like usual to ensure that the bills were paid and that food was always on my table.  So, in other words, while I was very happy and excited that Christmas was on its way, it also meant that very soon, I would be stressed, very stressed, to make sure that all was well.  I'm in a happy relationship with a healthy, glowing young family and we have no real 'problems'........so imagine the stress levels for those who cannot say that.........yes, you have to wonder, is it a Merry Christmas or a miserable one?
Let me say firstly that there is no 'perfect picture' for we most certainly do not live in a 'perfect world'.  It can be full of much stress, strain and sorrow.  Our families may fight, our relationships may fail, our friends may hurt us, our bank balance may not be high enough, our loved ones may not be with us anymore, our self esteem and self worth may be low, our feelings of anguish and sadness may increase.........and all these things are usually highlighted and affect us most at Christmas!  But, what I also want to say, is that in us we all have love, maybe a lot or just a little bit.  We have love for our mothers and fathers, we have love for our brothers and sisters, we have love for our partners, we have love for our children, we have love for our special friends...........and isn't that worth something at Christmas?
I see much sadness and suffering around me.  I see families torn apart by divorce, I see people that are waiting for Mr or Mrs Right, I see people with serious illness, I see real poverty, I see people that are in trouble.  In one word, I see misery.  At this time of year, we often focus on what we don't have, rather that what we do have.  We are caught up in the 'festive season', trying to have a good time with plenty of everything.  The reality is that for many, especially at Christmas, the expectation is to have a good time, but not everyone does.  I accept and acknowledge this because I'd be mad if I didn't.  For me, as a mother, I place a huge amount of pressure on myself to make Christmas special for my kids and to make the day a celebration  for my family.  What I want to say is that amongst all of this stress, strain and sorrow, we all have a love for something or someone and this is what we need to focus on to get through.  It may sound simplistic, but when you stop to think about it, love can help.
Now that I am a mother, Christmas is a happy time because I join in with my kids in the excitement and anticipation.  It wasn't until I had kids of my own, that I really started to see the value in Christmas.  My kids give me fulfilment in ways that nothing or nobody else can.  At Christmas, I see their smiling faces and excitement and this makes me feel good.  I focus on my kids at Christmas and this makes it special for me.  Yes, I worry, like I always do, about having 'enough' and I feel the stress of it all.  It is a time when I feel the strain and a time when I try with all my strength not to get completely caught up in the Marketing hype.  It is a time when I often see those around me not so happy, a time of year that they just want to go away.  I think that society's expectation of the perfect family, the perfect tree, the perfect roast turkey, is all just a bit too much........because there is no such thing as perfect.
If there is one message I can send in my blog to you today, it is to forget all of that, forget the stereotypes, forget the hype, forget all of the expectations, forget the pressure and remember that in all of us we have love.  We must all love someone or something.  In us, we feel love for someone special, some of us more, some of us less.  But we have love, something that cannot bought or sold, something that cannot be borrowed, something that cannot be manufactured..........something that is true and this is what reigns supreme. Love to love and love to be loved and soon enough, the pain might just go away.  You might not worry so much about what you haven't got and remember those thoughts of happiness and focus on joy rather than sadness.  Thank God that you are alive and can walk and talk and give someone that you love a hug.  Forget about the past, move on to the future and try your best to love you for you too!  Follow this blog's mantra if you dare.............live a little, love a lot :) xxx