So this is Christmas?

We were busy preparing Christmas lunch when I heard my mom say “another Christmas has come and gone, where does time go?” Looking at the clock (it was around 1pm) I was taken aback by her statement as we still had 1/2 a day left of Christmas day itself, yet to her it was over with. In my mind we still had time to spend as a family, lunch to eat, perhaps go out and walk on the beach. But no, in her mind that was it. Sad really.

That’s when it dawned on me, what has Christmas become? Have I too succumbed to the Christmas advertisements which seems to start earlier each year, the rush of Christmas shopping to get that perfect gift at a possible bargain, the stress of planning Christmas lunch, all while trying to get through the chaos which is school term 4.

I do love the Christmas season! As a child you don’t comprehend the stresses associated with Christmas, so the idea of Santa Clause, presents “appearing” under the tree on Christmas morning and spending the day with your extended family is the best thing since slice bread! As a teenager your concept of Santa Clause is now non-existent, but the random appearance of presents throughout December is still exciting and you most likely will be buying some family members presents too, which instils the spirit of giving. Even though I didn’t believe in Santa Clause anymore, I remember as a teenager being curled up on the couch with a book on Christmas Eve, surrounded by the flickering of the Christmas tree lights and being engulfed by a sense of peace and thankfulness. Now as an adult, the enchantment of Christmas seems lost.

I understand and believe in the true meaning of Christmas, the miraculous birth of our savior, and I will never forget this. But as time flies by, literally, it seems more and more that I am separated from this message. I know that this is my own doing, that perhaps I have become indoctrinated by the hustle and bustle of life and not make time to just clear my mind, meditate and pray.

This year felt the worse and I really struggled to get ‘into the Christmas spirit’. It’s really not any surprise seeing as I work Monday to Sunday, leaving me with very little time to get organized. I always try my best to make it special for my children. I bake, I make little gifts for their teachers and all their class mates, I secretly wrap presents, I add some decorations around the house, put Christmas stockings up. But this year it feels like I have disappointed them. When I’m home, I’m exhausted and don’t have the energy to make things ‘nice’. For the last week of school I planned to make all the little gifts (with their help), but this meant staying up till late at night. I was already dead tired by the end of the day, so the idea of staying up later than usual to finish the gifts was torture. This is certainly not how I wanted to feel.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing this for other people and the feeling of having the final product in my hand and giving it away is addicting but finding the balance is a struggle. I’m threatening to quit Christmas all together this year, and instead spend time not money on my family. Make a list of things-to-do, places-to-see and actually following through. Being present instead of giving away presents.

I think I should call a family meeting and start brainstorming …

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