Do you enjoy Christmas? It can be such a wonderful time, when many take time out from work to be with family and friends. It’s a time for children, with the magic of Santa Claus such a huge event in their year. It’s a time of year when relationships are moved onto a new footing; engagements, weddings, old hurts forgiven and bridges built.
It can also be a painful time, evoking memories of Christmas past, shared with loved ones who are no longer around. For others, it can be a time that highlights their loneliness. For those who may be struggling financially, Christmas can be a fearful time. Parent may worry about making it a special time for the little ones, and fears that they may be disappointed.
There is so much advice about how to make the most of the season, from food to presents and decorations. And it’s all directed towards doing it better. The message seems to be, if you’re not enjoying this, you must be doing it wrong.
Perhaps the solution is to be honest about what makes us happy and live from that place, rather than from what we think others might expect of us. If the glitz and the partying rocks your boat, then go for it. But if it leaves you with a Christmas hangover of regret and exhaustion, then maybe it’s time to rethink. After all, it’s your Christmas too.
Jude Fay is a psychotherapist at AnneLeigh Counselling and Psychotherapy, Celbridge and Naas, Co Kildare, Ireland