I believe there is a subtle change in the air. This year, I feel completely relaxed and not at all worried or stressed about preparing for Christmas. Usually by this time I would be frantically writing Christmas cards and wrapping Christmas gifts, but I don’t feel the urgency. And I can see the same sense of calm in many people around me. Yes, there are probably a lot of people who hide their panic well, and there are those who confess to staying up late at night to get their jobs complete, but I believe we are slowly moving into a more holistic attitude with the Christmas season.
For more than a generation, we have been sold a false dream of the perfect Christmas celebration, and for many people, that simply didn’t happen. We all have challenges, be they health, financial, career, family or others. These challenges do not magically cease to exist just because it is Christmas. I am still broke. My eyes still hurt. My family still struggle with various ailments and issues. But personally, this year I feel happy. A huge weight has been lifted since we moved house, because now we are in our forever home, and while it still needs a lot of cosmetic improvement, it is warm, cosy and perfect for our needs at this time.
Rather than spend money we don’t have on events, gifts and decorations, we have used what we already have, and made use of our local community. My children have seen Santa Claus at least three times now, and we didn’t spend a lot of money in the process. Indeed, we donated to a local church charity, contributed to small business in our area, and shared a community party. And it was all perfect for us. I will not feel obliged to send out hundreds of Christmas cards, or to wrap dozens of gifts, or to load up our cupboards with more food than we can eat. We have everything that we need. And that is the perfect Christmas for my family. If you feel anxious or stressed why not step back from the situation, assess where you stand, and think about what really matters to you personally. It might not be as bad as it seems. And if it is, then you can ask for help from someone you trust. We all care for each other, and that is the spirit of Christmas.
Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .