The Christmas Crunch – Shopping-Spending-Stressing-WHY???

Busy, busy, busy…money, money, money, do I have enough cash and credit available to get through the next month or even the next few weeks?  It is a tough time of year for those who  celebrate Christmas…in this country, at least…What is it all about? It seems that no matter what one’s intentions are to “keep it simple” or not to be over extended…we just get caught up in the process and all of a sudden you are on a runaway train…The mind is going. Every day you wake up with the subject of shopping and how to make it work – on your mind – and you review your lists to determine what you’ve done so far, what you can eliminate and how to find the time to do all that you need to before the “big day”.  the stresses and strains are enormous on most people.  Even if you are one of the “lucky ones” who doesn’t have to worry about the financial cost, the time issues…how to get it all done…the whole thing is enormous…the stress is incredible.

Isn’t it just ridiculous? All of this fuss related to the birth of one person?  Yes, I realize that Christians believe he was “The One”. What does the birth of Christ have to do with all of the hoopla?  Gifts for everyone in the world, cookie baking (why?),Christmas caroling, stringing popcorn, excessive amounts of calorie and fat ridden food, new clothing for “the day”, decorating the house and making sure everything looks perfect.  Yes, it is absurd.  None of what we do is at all related to the birth of Christ.  Actually, there is one thing that would be in sync with the reason for the season…helping others, donating to organizations who help the poor or hungry, adopting a family and  helping to make their lives better, reach out to someone who has become unemployed with concrete help (do something for them that will make a difference.

The real difficulty is in stepping back and being able to shift how you handle all of this; much of what we do and our expectations of how things should be comes from our childhood and family of origin’s traditions, cultural values, financial situation and the way our parents thought things should be-what they wanted or expected..it goes on and on and on. What is really nuts is that we are trying to live up to what they wanted based on what their childhoods were like-what they did and didn’t have, want or need.  So here we are plodding along…no wonder we feel like robots…most of what we do is based on other people’s decisions about what is needed and acceptable.

Step back, take a deep breath, do a little writing about what you are feeling (yes, you do have time to write-get up an hour earlier)- and about what YOU NEED to be whole. Eliminate that which does not make sense to you any more. Talk with your family about how to celebrate without creating nonsensical amounts of stress and strain; ask for suggestions from your children for ways to add  meaning to our experiences.  Decide what matters and make some changes accordingly.

And when you start to think about your New Year’s resolutions…don’t make the list…just make one decision…to read and write every week…3 or 4 hours, half reading, half writing. If you do that, by this time next year, your life will be much simpler.

This is MeddlingMom…keep asking…is this really necessary or important…and why?

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