- 15 December, 2015
How to stop Christmas from becoming tiresome
Christmas can mean different things at different stages of our lives.
I still remember as a child not being able to sleep the night before Christmas. The excitement of waking in the morning to see what Santa had left under the tree was unbearable. Had he listened this year or ignored me again?
For a number of years my dad worked as a milkman including on Christmas morning – unfair I know.
Mum would not allow us near the tree until dad arrived home and this was generally not until after 8.00am and for someone like me who had been awake since 4.30am, those extra three and a half hours felt like an eternity.
As a teenager, Christmas was maybe not as exciting, you needed to remain cool and aloof from such childish behaviors and beliefs. Christmas meant six weeks holiday, no school, no homework and a chance to hang out with your mates and girls without the supervision of a teacher.
Then you moved out of home and became independent. You had your own place, you worked, had your own money, paid rent and made those very important life and death decision such as what were you going to have for dinner? Pizza, burger or fish and chips? By the way, I am old and KFC, McDonalds, Subway etc did not exist then. Christmas at this time in your life became the annual trip home to see your parents and the rest of the family.
If you then have children of your own, Christmas becomes exciting again, for a whole new set of reasons. For me, as an early riser it meant actually waking my kids up to unwrap the presents that Santa and mum and dad had bought.
Yes, I overindulged my children. I enjoyed it and I got such a kick out of watching their faces and their reactions – 90 per cent of the time it was priceless, the other 10 per cent not overly pretty, if you know what I mean.
Then your children leave home, they have all grown up, but they have not yet been blessed with their own children – grandchildren and the word Grandad will come one day I hope, but not just yet. Christmas becomes a little more subdued, decorations are not as intense, Christmas shopping becomes a little more of a nightmare and you are thinking about where you and your partner can go to get away from the chaos and maybe the family.
As you age it appears to become just another day without a lot of meaning or excitement. The festivities, travel, visitors, shopping and even the eating are in danger of becoming extremely tiresome and something of an inconvenience. You have become very comfortable and secure with your daily routine and Christmas is a break in this routine and your comfort levels have been interrupted, which is a little sad.
Our lives have become so busy that finding the “time” for Christmas can be a little tight, but it so important to try.
Once you have found the time for Christmas make sure you find the time for the person next to you whoever they maybe, partner, child, parent, relative, friend, neighbour or a stranger.
Give these people “your time” at Christmas. Listen to what they are saying, understand their circumstances, do not judge them for their Christmas gripes, tolerate the strange quirks and even stranger views. Ask them what they want, what they are doing for Christmas, relax, breath, don’t rush and enjoy their company.
Remember “your time” is the most precious present* you can give anyone, especially an older person who does not want to have their routine broken. I am sure they would be more than happy to talk to someone who is happy to listen.
Let us never allow our Christmas’ to become tiresome and an inconvenience in our busy lives, regardless of our age.
*Disclaimer: I can’t promise your partner or children will be convinced with the argument that your time is more precious than any gift you can give!
The Realise Your Dream blogs are written by Peter Kelly and Mark Teale. More information about the authors can be found here