Christmas is always a very emotional time of year. It’s when we check-in with ourselves and friends and family members. We notice what has changed in a year, who is present and who is not. We sense progress or the lack of it. This is why everything feels precious, amplified and emotionally charged.
This year Christmas is backed up with nine months of pent up, Covid-19 fear, illness grief, loss, business stress, financial stress, isolation, loneliness and frazzled home lives. Everyone needs a break,a hug and some fun with family and friends. And every one of us knows that this Christmas has to be different – because it has to be safe.
We need to be careful how we prepare for Christmas, what we agree to do and not to do- because conceding to other people’s demands will damage relationships and build resentment over time. So prepare ahead, be clear with yourself about your worries and agree with your partner and family what is safe and what is possible in your home.
- Write down your concerns- the very act of taking the time to do this will give you some distance and lower the emotional charge when the conversation happens.
- Have the conversation as early as possible- with all the uncertainty of restrictions and lockdowns this may still mean that decisions will be made late this year.
- Expect some push back and upset – it’s natural for each of us to want things the way they were before and you may find solid resistance and tears, but be ready with your own proposal and when and where you want to meet.
- Changing Christmas- the truth is Christmas often has to change – for example, when marriages break up and new family units come together. When adult children get married and Christmas gets rotated between in-laws. ….and many more, but this year it’s because of Covid-19.
Yes it’s difficult and challenging – but we need to focus on what we CAN do safely and make it lovely, because it can be. Look at how we’ve all adapted this last 9 months- who’ have thought we could do all that!