I know Christmas is supposed to be a lovely, happy time of year, but I tend to get a bit bah humbug in the build up to it, as it just seems to add lots of extra things to do and stress when I am already busy enough. This year felt like no exception with the addition of twin toddlers underfoot, though it is hard not to smile and keep things in perspective when one insists on wearing his Santa hat all day, including mealtimes.

I decided to stop and notice the thoughts that were creating the stress I feel. Many were about doing the ‘right thing’, not offending anyone, showing others how I feel through cards and gifts, and in some way meeting others expectations. Of course this is not new to me, as I have had similar thoughts every year, but as I continue to work through things in myself I am freed up to make new choices. Initially, I felt incredibly angry with everyone for having expectations and felt a desire to rebel, but then I stopped and realised I was making these expectations up and any possible consequences if I failed to meet them. My anger was actually with myself as I was ignoring my own needs and boundaries in the process. So, I let go of doing cards, emails and presents from a place of ‘having to’, choosing instead to do it from my ‘wanting to’. It has been odd not experiencing the daily pressurized countdown in my head and I genuinely wondered if I would actually bother to send any Christmas cards or emails, and whether this would be an act of rebellion or one of taking care of myself. Well, suddenly this morning I had the energy and desire to create something with photos and a few words and its ready to go. I’m even looking forward to thinking of family and friends, and taking the time to email and post it.

Of course I’m human and I still get hooked into my pattern of wanting to please, but I keep catching myself and seeing choices. Naturally there are stressful moments as I juggle 3 kids and work, AND getting ready for Christmas, but I’m happier about the way I’m being with it this year. And so is my husband who has to live with my feverish ‘doing mania’ when I’m in countdown mode! Here’s to lots of relaxing, enjoying the twinkly lights and the wonder of Christmas through the eyes of my children.