Christmas is that time of the year for giving and receiving, peace and goodwill, for happiness and joy, for love and laughter. For gathering family, for cheer, for having everything together and organised!
Well, for many women, young and old, married, single, separated, with children without children, with parents, without parents Christmas comes with panic, anxiety, sadness, silent tears, sense of failure, not being good enough, dread, comparison and proper hard graft.
Many women, like you and I, take on the task of Christmas and then fear asking for help from anyone because that might show weakness.
Even before Christmas Day arrives, the weeks leading up to it can be full on and exhausting.
Please read on, your Christmas gifts from me are at the end! A gift of Helpful Hints and Tips Download and my 12 Days of Christmas Self-Care for an amazing 2019!
Women have likely been present at work, completing the really, really important project that absolutely had to be finished before the Christmas break and smiled without complaint when their Christmas Eve holiday request was refused!
They have, if a parent, attended the nativity play, hopefully with a camera that works, to capture the delights of child/ren as a donkey, angel, Jesus, Mary or Joseph! Remembered to purchase the most useless and expensive present for teacher and then supervised in an elf costume at the dance, football, swim festive party.
They have baked cakes, served at the Christmas Fair, Carol sung and been Mrs Claus at their parents care home.
They have trudged off to their PT sessions, yoga classes, spin classes and HIIT sessions in the early hours or late evening because they absolutely must look their best at the works party.
And at the works party shown Pam and Frank from accounts that of course they can drink with the best of them and dance until the early hours, no problem. And then repeated at their partner’s Christmas party a day or two later.
In between all the jolly time they have made their own festive decorations for the door, table, house, tree (seriously!). Shopped and wrapped a truckload of presents for every family & non-family member, friend and pet single handed and written countless cards.
Sleep? That's definitely overrated isn't it?
Let's not forget Christmas Day. Up at the crack of dawn to man handle the turkey into the oven, defrost forgotten pigs in blankets and decorate the table, boil the pudding to within an inch of its life and beaten brandy butter into a gloopy mush. Given Timmy's present to Lila and Dad's present to Gran (oops naughty Santa - too much Sherry) and remembered to capture on film the delights of child/ren opening the must have present which mum had driven the length and breadth of the country to find! Only to witness the present being cast aside without a backward glance because Great Uncle Stan had gifted a Gecko, puppy, kitten, pencil, insert anything! The women humour the in-laws, ex-laws, out-laws whilst fixing an "of course, not a problem" smile on their faces. And then, they serve up a delicious homemade (not out of the wrapper, pre-made) festive Christmas feast. The female of the household manages it all just like the swan gliding across the lake. Hmmm, the hidden legs furiously powering elegant swan across the lake, though! Phew!! Hell, yes, that was easy, peesy wasn’t it??! Is this how it is? I am curious.
Whilst I have injected humour into this story, there is an ever-present important message.
Women tend to be the ones quietly ensuring Christmas is ‘perfect’. Perfect to whom though? The stereotypical and commercialised image of how Christmas should be?
The stereo type of Christmas ‘perfectness’ has, for many years, been portrayed as the mother, grandmother, female presence in the household being the one delivering such ‘perfectness’. With them delivering the most magical, festive and effortless day ever and because Christmas is depicted as a time for giving and most definitely not complaining, the female dares not ask for help or let on that she cannot cope.
Women are often naturally inclined to want to make Christmas magical, fun and festive for those they share the day with. Women give themselves the responsibility, but often they do not share that responsibility with partners, parents, friends, children, family.
So, by the time Christmas Day arrives, women are frazzled, stressed, anxious and absolutely shattered. With nerves on the edge and instead of fully enjoying everything the day has to offer, women simply suffer in silence.
If Christmas is a time for giving and receiving, why not make this year, 2018, different?
Make this the year that everyone is involved. Everyone takes responsibility for making Christmas magical, everyone gives and receives in the spirit of Christmas preparation.
To give – giving the preparation for Christmas to everyone and making it fun, sharing in memory making, and a time to come together. Allowing everyone to give their time in helping to make a magical Christmas.
To receive – receiving help from everyone.
There is still time. Christmas is still a couple of weeks away. So, find your partner, sit down with your children, be open with your friends and family. Let them know that you want Christmas to be amazing and magical for everyone and you need their help to make it that way, but let them all know, most importantly, that you cannot do it on your own, you should not do it all alone and you are not going to apologise for admitting this!
Click on the link to download my Helpful Hints & Tips to make your Christmas Magical. With a couple of weeks still left before Christmas, the download, by no means exhaustive, is intended to provide some hints and tips that I have personally applied in my own home in the lead up to Christmas. If you have any of your own, please share them back! I know that some of the nuggets in the download will help make your Christmas more magical with everyone involved in making it that way.
Coming to an inbox near you - My 12 Days of Christmas to be Unapologetically Uniquely YOU!. Starting on 25thDecember I will be gifting you some free short self-care information sheets and worksheets on topics to support you, help you, remind you to be you and to be MAGNIFICENT. These self-care sheets will help get you ready for the most fantastic 2019 as Unapologetically Uniquely YOU! If you want to receive these straight to your inbox – sign up here 12 DAYS