A Confession!

I don’t like Christmas Day very much.

There, I’ve said it and feel a bit like a heretic. Not sure why I’m telling you this, this year. It was not an easy day so I suppose I thought I’d try to work it out for myself by sharing it with you Dear Reader. I don’t know when I stopped liking it because I have fond memories as a child of the day. I think it is the expectation that gets to me.

We always plan everything (you’d expect it wouldn’t you with a hubby who has OCD) and sometimes I think we plan the joy out of it. Nothing is left to chance which is good in one way when so much seems to have to happen within a short time particularly in the kitchen. However, it can almost feel like déjà vue after a while.

The responsibility that it will be a wonderful day,that the food will be delicious and the world will be at one can lay very heavy. For me, I find it really hard to meet those perceived demands so I’m tense and nervous and try too hard and my head aches. Apparently, I’m still reasonable company but it does feel like such an effort.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the build up to the day and the ‘cold meat and pickles days’ afterwards but it is just those 24 hours. Perhaps it is different if there are a number of you or if you have little ones around. However, I’m sure that can cause as many problems though.

Then there are the questions after the event. ‘Did you have a good Christmas?’ It feels quite lame to say no not really when you haven’t been ill or can’t recount the thing that spoilt it.

I think there is an element in our house where ‘tradition’ gets in the way. We’ve always had those decorations / meat / timetable. So, I think I shall try to do things differently next year. I shall start to prepare hubby for less of a military campaign and more of just a break in routine.

Pass me that note pad – I need to make a list!!

Post Script – I do know how lucky we are to have each other and feel for those who were on their own. I do also realise that it is not all about sprouts and presents. This post is just my reflection of how I need to refocus.
This post is for Jenny Matlock’s Seasonal Roundup. Pop over to see what the others have to say!

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  • My thoughts exactly, my friend.

    I had these same feelings after the holiday this year.

    And next year I am going to do things different…not sure how but things are going to change!

    Thanks for sharing this lovely, thoughtful post!

    Warm wishes for a year of rediscovery and rededication to the things that you truly enjoy!

  • I feel exactly the same about Christmas Day. I think this year’s was probably the most enjoyable, because we planned NOTHING except the dinner, because my mum is poorly and we weren’t sure what she’d be able to cope with. Made for a much more relaxing time with no expectations. Happy New Year!

  • When we were children, Christmas morning was always magical, but now that we are the ones doing all the work, cooking, etc., it is certainly a different story!!

  • I think many of us have that Christmas funk that goes along with all the expectations and all the things to do and all everything. My husband told me ‘just decide you’re going to have a good time and forget about all that other stuff.’ So I did! and it was great! Happy 2012!

  • Pat

    Some good thoughts and sharing going on here…not only is the retail aspect of the season so out of focus, but the efforts of some to outdo others in decorating, entertaining and “I attended more parties than you did” can really throw cold water on what used to be more gentle times. Our family is scattered from one coast to the next and it is often difficult to gather…Christmas has become a quieter time with less emphasis on gifts and more attention to enjoying a crackling fire, a meal prepared with love and just reflecting on the year that has passed. Though today we had dinner for 8 with good friends & family – too much food, but a fun afternoon! Their presence was gift enough but for good measure they brought cookies, cheese and sausage made from a bear they took down this Fall…- A perfect day!

  • jo

    I love Christmas … but now that eveyone’s kid’s are grown, it has become much easier … a simpler dinner … no “has to be perfect brunches” … I decorate as much or as little as I want … and i enjoy the company of good family and friends, but without all of the hype …

  • Pondside

    I think we all get that feeling some years – and I also believe that this is a safe forum for voicing the sentiments you’ve put out there. I find the build-up and hype to be a bit much, and never understand the rush to get everything down on the 26th. I’d much rather decorate closer to the 25th, and then sit back and enjoy the quiet time through the twelve days of Christmas (or at least until I have to go back to work!)

  • Usually Christmas is stressful for me! Thankfully this year it was slow paced and filled with quiet moments!

  • I’m not much of a Christmassy person either Julia, so I get it…..

  • Reading your post and the comments it would seem we are all the same. I think it’s the routine that becomes annoying. We always have the inlaws on Christmas Day and I used to get myself all cross and stressed trying to get everything right. Over the years I have just altered the meal time to later in the day: just a few hours made a huge difference.

  • I love the the decorations, the goodwill, the free for all with the candy and cookies and wine, but I’m glad it’s over.

  • Well, you certainly aren’t alone, Julia, even if it’s not talked about a whole lot. So good for you for raising it —

    As far as planning, or overplanning: I’m prone to do that too. Once when I was planning a very important event involving many many people, a very wise young person saw me fretting and said, Tell me, have you done all the planning you set out to do? I said, yes, of course. And can you think of anything obvious you still need to do? No, I said, but —-
    He interrupted me there, firmly, but with a smile, Now what you need to do is leave room for the Holy Spirit. Oh!

    All buttoned up means there’s no room for the surprise, the unexpected, the serendipitous, the “better” that will sometimes replace the “good.” The adventure.

    Along with Christmas greetings to you, I send them to your hub also, who is my kindred spirit; with a wink and a reminder, Leave room for the Holy Spirit — and see what happens!

  • My Christmas’s are evolving. My husband is agnostic and finds the hype tiresome. He buys presents etc so is no Scrooge. We had a chat and our personal celebration is going to move to the Solstice as a celebration of light. We will still ‘do’ Christmas as far as family and friends are concerned but will have our own stress free party at the Winter Solstice. I’ll get back to you next year about the success of it!

  • it can be pretty tough! When our fourth kid (1st son) was born our Christmas took a major change. Usually we’d had Christmas dinner on Christmas – I was always stuck in the kitchen cooking all day, and by the end of it, tired and probably a little grumpy to boot. Then that year, we had plans for Christmas day and I made dinner on Christmas Eve.

    For the first time I was able to relax and enjoy my kids on Christmas! I actually played with them and had SO much fun. We’ve never gone back to the old way – we do our dinner on Christmas Eve, so on Christmas I can enjoy the day too. We have cold meat and leftovers and everyone loves it (especially me)

    so, a change in tradition can turn out to be a blessing 🙂 I’m all for changing things up so you can say you’ve had a wonderful Christmas too! 😀

  • Yes. It’s hard to keep up expectations. In fact, this year, we had pizza for supper! I do think we put too much emphasis on the specific day!

  • I totally get it about the expectations – if there’s no magic it’s not a very good Christmas. But a day at home with the one you love, good food and wine, a few presents and a bit of telly (carol service, Queen, a film), maybe a walk somewhere pretty…. all that sounds absolutely magic enough for me.

    • You are absolutely right of course. I need to remember that! Thank you for your wise words!

    • Well, I work retail so it definitely turns into dejavu for us little store elves after a while. And, unfortunately, when people asked if I had a good Christmas, my answer is always, “I enjoyed the day off.” Yes, that ONE day off. True, I am also thankful for my family and their well-being but the season sometimes turns into a lot of hoopla and people miss the point of what love and giving and honoring thy Lord is all about.

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