It’s that time of the year again. And depending upon who you are and what you have on your plate, you may use any number of terms (some of them none too complementary), to describe the week leading up to Christmas.
The picture on the right seems to sum it up beautifully.
Christmas is supposed to be a season of joy and happiness, celebrations and festivities. There is an enormous amount of pressure to appear happy, relaxed and joyful. But in reality, most of us are running on empty, and scrambling to keep on top of it all.
A bit like a duck on water, really. On the surface, everything is gliding along smoothly, but behind closed doors, in the crowded shopping centres, or in the car as we ferry people from one event to another, the mad paddling to stay afloat is happening.
What food do we need to take to this event? What time are the kids likely to get into bed tonight? How will I get them up tomorrow? What is on tomorrow? What day is it today? How will I find time to get groceries? What are we having for brunch with our friends? When will I buy food for Christmas Day? What are we eating on Christmas Day? How much is on the credit card this month? What time do we have to leave? Have the kids got clothes to wear to school tomorrow? Did I really promise to take the kids to the city to look at Christmassy things? Can I get out of it? WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THE CAR PARKS?
These are just a few of the things that have been going through my mind lately.
It’s a bit like having an internet browser with 86 tabs open — ALL THE TIME!
And I know I’m not the only one feeling like this.
In a season when wine flows freely, it seems tears are flowing just as freely.
Tears of frustration, tears of tiredness, tears of worrying about the financial pressures, tears as children leave pre-school, primary school or high school, and farewell their friends. Tears from parents and teachers. Tears from students who didn’t get the result they need to get into the tertiary course they wanted. Tears from children, totally overwhelmed and exhausted by it all. Tears from people who are missing loved ones — either separated by distance or death.
There is no doubt that there is an immense amount of pressure put on most of us this time of year, and what is supposed to be the Season of Joy is totally the opposite.
Sure, I could tell you to count your blessings and be grateful of how good your life really is, but I know you probably don’t have time to down a mince pie, let alone make a list of all the ‘positives’. And even if you did, I think indulging in a glass of bubbly and that mince pie you can’t seem to find time for, is a little more appealing at this time of year.
So, if you would rather poke yourself in the eye with candy cane, than attend one more crazy, frenzied event, the good news is we are almost there. And the serious business of relaxing can begin.
But in the meantime, I would like to leave you with the following video.
Over the past week or so, it has become my new favourite song. In a time when we are busy hurtling through time and space, getting ever so closer to the pinnacle of bedlam, this song provides four minutes of escape. It leaves me feeling less-stressed and feeling warm and fuzzy. It makes my kids smile. It gets us dancing around the house feeling happy. Even if it is only for four minutes.
I hope it does the same for you.
Wishing you PEACE and HAPPINESS this Christmas