Snow, scarves, rosy cheeks, hot chocolates by a roaring fire and looking like you’ve stepped out of Joules catalogue is how Christmas is, right?
Not for me…. I’m blue, I can’t remember the last time it didn’t rain, my hair has been unruly for 35 days and I have a cold so suffocating that above the neck there is no orifice not leaking.
Hang on, Christmas is lush
Maybe when I was between the ages of 3-10, yes.
I’m 33 and cynical as heck.
Christmas is abundant with social norms, pressures, ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ and I’m growing tired of it. Walking around Cardiff city centre to see huge bags filled to the brim makes me wince and feel a bit sick. As for the Coca Cola van, it makes me stabby.
Oh, so it’s not as fantastic for everyone?
No, sadly not. Winter is not my season, jumpers – yes, dark, cold and changeable winds that make my hair like a helmet are a no.
SAD syndrome or seasonal affective disorder affects many people, including me. It also means it’s bully of an older sibling ‘depression’ comes along, who invites anxiety, paranoia and agoraphobia to a party where no one appreciates coasters.
The night is dark and full of terrors
Past 5pm I don’t want to be out the majority of the time, it’s got nothing to do with the location or the person/people, purely about me. I know in principle I will enjoy myself but the expectation, real or imagined, to be the extrovert I present myself to be, weighs heavy on me.
Social media does a cracking job of making you feel you are joyless, boring and induces FOMO (fear of missing out).
I get irrationally annoyed at people able to function past 5pm as there’s myself in comparison…. moulded to my sofa, book in hand, finding it easier to get lost in fiction than face reality.
It’s time we want
As I’ve gotten older I realise that time is a precious commodity and something we take for granted. I cannot tell you how many times this year I’ve said ‘I’m so busy’ and that’s utterly rubbish.
I create the busy, seek the chaos and the bouncing from place to place. If push came to shove I would give it up for the people I love.
What I would love most of all from people is time, for us to stop, appreciate the relationships we have, rebuild connections and be present in that moment.
Beat the sadness
If I had a cure I would give you it, but I don’t so here’s some things to consider.
- Donate to your local food bank, thanks to the T*ries, people are more in need than ever before.
- Give time – go and see friends, family and neighbours, you never know who feels the most isolation at this time of year.
- Re-gift – if you are given something that isn’t quite you, but you know would be perfect for someone else, choose to do that.
- Appreciate the little things – smells, sounds, taste, touch all help us to be present.
- Be honest – if you aren’t feeling it, say so. You don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.