As the season to be jolly begins, our founder, Fiona Thomas reflects on what can be a complicated time of year.
A little gift to sons, daughters, nephews, nieces & more: The Christmas Unimole Tail
Have you read ‘Unimole & The Christmas Play’ yet?
In this story, available to download for free at unimole.co.uk, a girl called Natalie hides herself away. Why?
Well, Natalie has a starring role in the school’s Christmas play, but she’s terrified of getting things wrong and letting people down.
It’s a feeling that many of us have at this time of year, isn’t it? We want to provide those we love with the best Christmas experience, but the burden can weigh heavily on our shoulders.
Luckily for Natalie, Unimole magically appears and gives her some great advice.
“Take a deep breath and listen to what’s inside you.
Your heart will tell you what to say.”
Unimole, Unimole & The Christmas Play
Great advice for avoiding Christmas stress & pressure
It’s advice I’d gently recommend to everyone, especially at this time of year when there’s such a weight of expectation. When things appear to be bombarding you from every direction, take a moment, breath, look inside and follow your heart’s advice.
It’s important to do what feels right for you. So, be aware of being railroaded into doing things you don’t enjoy or have no time to do. It’s OK to look after yourself and say ‘No thank you’.
Do you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel?
The truth is life isn’t easy. So many of us spend our days stuck on our own personal hamster wheels, frantically running in a constant battle to keep up with the innumerable tasks that continuously come our way. Again, and again work, deadlines, childcare and family commitments steamroller our best intentions to carve out time for self-care! So, we find ourselves permanently frazzled and constantly falling behind on that never ending conveyor belt of expectations we call ‘life.’
The beauty of a little Christmas magic
That’s why I love Christmas. I REALLY do. For me, Christmas can be the one moment of the year when we’re allowed to step out of our hamster wheels and just be. Even in my nursing days, when I would work over Christmas, it could be tough but there was always something special about the festive period. I think people generally had a little more consideration for each other.
Allow yourself some festive freedom
It’s a time when we can simply embrace the moment and each other. An occasion to let our strict routines drop away: no deadlines, no emails, no rush to get children to clubs or school. We’re free to lose track of the exact time of day or even which day of the week it is. For many of us, the liberation that comes with this period of freedom is amazingly peaceful. That’s what I look for in my Christmas, not the latest gadgets, not expensive clothes, not champagne (although I do love it), I simply enjoy time with the people that mean the most to me. That’s what makes it the most wonderful time of the year. I give myself the perfect little well-being gift: permission to stop. You could try it too. It’s free!
The sad truth that shouldn’t be forgotten
However much I love Christmas, I do not forget that for lots of people, it’s a time of year that they can dread.
- People can fall into debt, succumbing to the pressure to spend money they don’t have.
- Arguments can occur as family members who don’t see eye to eye find themselves forced into close proximity.
- Levels of expectation can go through the roof, meaning the pressure to ensure everyone has a good time can be too much to handle.
- Children feel pressure to perform, in plays, concerts and the like – a demand many find extremely daunting.
- Christmas can be a yearly reminder of loss. As others gather with those they love, many have little more than memories for company. It can be a hugely lonely time of year, a day to feel excluded from the happiness that others appear to enjoy in such abundance.
Something to consider that might help
For everyone going through similar experiences, it might help to think back to Unimole’s words of advice.
“Take a deep breath and listen to what’s inside you. Your heart will tell you what to say.”
If something is causing you dread, stress or sadness and you’re finding it hard to know what to do, I do hope that you have someone to support and to listen to you. Remember you can always take some time out, however brief, for yourself. It’s so important to have some space for you, your thoughts and your memories. Whatever you do this Christmas, remember no one is perfect and we’re all good enough.
It’s all about people! It’s all about the love!
Most people I speak to don’t really care about what they do at Christmas, they care about who they do it with. Perhaps we could all remember this, as we head into the festive season, and try to remove any heavy expectations from our shoulders. Maybe, if you have a neighbour who’s spending the day on their own, you could say ‘Hi’, smile or have a chat? It might make all the difference to their day to be recognized as a person and included, even in a small way, in the festivities.
My Little Recipe for you
This year, I wish you all an unpressured, sentimental, loving day, filled with joyful connections and recognition to those who have made our lives that extra bit special.
That’s my Little Recipe for you this Christmas.
Take care x
Fiona Thomas, founder of Life’s Little Recipes and creator of Unimole.