Tag Archives: Holidays

How to not stress out this Christmas

Merry Christmas from Talk Therapies

I’m reading a lot at the moment about how to ‘survive the holidays’ or how to ‘Cope at Christmas’.

This seems a little sad to me.

Aren’t the holidays about happiness, fun, enjoyment and togetherness?

Where are all the survival and coping skills needed? This is a day to celebrate and eat nice food – it’s not a war zone!

Here are a few simple guidelines to help you enjoy the holidays – after all they are meant to be a nice time.

1. Prepare

Write a list, go shopping (early or late if you can to avoid the crowds) and don’t get too hung up on anything on the list. If the shop hasn’t got the particular type of potato you want, get another one – I bet no-one notices! If they have run out of turkey, get chicken – it tastes better anyway.

2. Prepare some more

Cook dishes that you can cook in advance and heat up on the day. The more you have done before the celebration, the more time you have to enjoy it.

Wrap presents – check that you have batteries if you need them.

If you have people coming round, make sure you have enough chairs, plates, cutlery etc.

3. Delegate

You don’t own the holiday. Get people to help you. Yes it would be nice if they just did stuff without asking, but they’re not mind readers and they just need to be asked. Emphasis on the ask – asking will get you everywhere, telling will get you problems.

4. If you’re on your own and are likely to feel lonely, decide in advance what you are going to be doing.

Don’t sit and be sad – do stuff. Read a book, watch TV, go for a walk, redecorate a room, start your spring cleaning – do something!

Also appreciate the fact that you have this time to do exactly what you want. There will be someone in a crowded room, with frayed nerves and a headache who would give their left arm to be you right now.

5. If you’ve got people coming round and you think you’ll feel overwhelmed, plan in down time.

Too many people can be a bit much sometimes, so find a way to get some space – take a nap, go for a walk, hide in a bedroom for a bit whilst you get everyone else to clear away….

Also take some time out to appreciate the people you are with. These should be people you care about – Love even – so make sure you realise that you are lucky to have them with you.

6. Don’t expect it to be perfect.

Christmas is NEVER perfect except in films.

Things don’t always go to plan, people have arguments, kids get tired and whiny, people forget gifts, people don’t like gifts, food gets burned, people go to sleep – whatever happens, it’s OK.

Whatever type of celebration you have, enjoy it. It’s just one day, so make the most of it.

If you really can’t do that, then at least you know that it’s all going to be over soon, and you won’t have to think about it for another year!

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Sunday Poem – Twas the Night before Christmas

As you may know by now, I like to post a poem on a Sunday, preferably one that I have enjoyed since I was a child.

Well, with it being the last Sunday before Crimbo, what else could I possibly choose?

Quick Challenge before you begin reading – can you name all the reindeer (clue – Rudolph is not one of them!)

Twas the night before Christmas

”Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Clement Clarke Moore 1779-1863

If I don’t see you before – Have a great Christmas x

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