Christmas will be great. It has to be!

Christmas will be great. It has to be!

    | Dec 15, 2017
Meander   Woman 45yrs
Hi all, I've posted something similar in the past but it always plays on my mind this time of year.

Why are so many of us putting so much pressure on ourselves when it comes to Christmas?

Who here actually really enjoys the festivities, and who secretly wishes the whole thing was over already?

Does it really matter if the presents are perfect, the seafood the freshest, and the decorations the prettiest? Can we all just settle down and remember what Christmas is about?
I'm not religious, and frankly the whole birth of Jesus thing doesn't mean much to me, but I do believe Christmas is about loved ones, and hope, and new beginnings. And giving, most of all!

I work with many clients who've lost their families, have no access to their kids, are homeless, broke, desperate...
My thoughts are with them, and others in similar situations, the silly season is a more like the "suicidal ideation season" for a lot of them.

I'm posting this in the hopes we can all remember to stop for a minute and breathe, and remember to look after ourselves and our fellow humans. Fuck presents, here's to being present.

If any of you are struggling with Christmas, please reach out. We care.

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Couple Man 52yrs Woman 43yrs

couldn’t agree more

so well written meander , it’s a tough season for many and sometimes in haste to push the supposed merry season upon everyone ,( you dont enjoy xmas ,whats wrong with you pffft ) little do they realise they are pushing some to breaking point ,it’s ok to not make a fuss or feel bouncing with joy at xmas time. you don’t have to ,everyone is entitled to survive xmas best way they can , and deal with it anyway they choose ,some need support and understanding not condemnation

- Posted from rhpmobile
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cafecontemplate   Couple Man 34yrs Woman 26yrs


I prefer the whole 'seasons greetings' side of it all.

Because Christmas just brings religion into it and not everyone has 'happy holidays' because a lot of people are still working.

Would be nice if everyone just became neutral on the whole thing and were all just nice humans to one another.

But that would be some kind of peaceful utopia and well...only crazy people think about that huh?

- Posted from rhpmobile
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On_Safari   Woman 46yrs

My older sisters and I have had this discussion only this week....

The “farce” that is Christmas. Every second year we do my family’s gathering, Mum loves Xmas and to be honest it’s now the only reason I go. I like some members of my family, Love one or two of them and asat a recent encounter during my Mums illness when caring for my Dad now loathe a brother.

My ex-husband and I have already told our girls Santa’s coming late this year. I’ve bought for the Babies and school age kids of my sibs, my parents. The rest I’m just giving platters of home made Xmas sweets, slices and treats (yet to be made). After all that and having been between jobs I just can’t be fckd scraping up $ to satisfy the extended family’s oft spoilt (hands out for a present, unwrap, barely look at; hands out for next gift) kids.

I think of all the previous years when my girls got “less” because of the pressures to buy “more” for the extended family. I have a niece and nephew who did the rounds of 3 homes every year for presents and honestly listening to them rattle on to my kids about what they got used to irk me. Nephew is now 18 and my brother just bought him a $50k Landcruiser with all the bells and whistles.....last year I got chipped because I only gave him $20 in a card by my SIL.

I don’t want that pressure anymore and I know this will be the first of many fewer xmases together in future.

I intend to get some $ together when my company reopens and get the girls to put together an online basket of the things they’d really like to a certain value and pay for it. My oldest is pregnant so Imgoing to help her with $ for the Nursery renovation at her home.

Despite the above I do love Xmas, I love the kindness and good humour of those around me, sharing laughs and good times with random people I often chat with. I give away heaps ofhome made sweets to many people. The kids used to help me with this now I do it In my own OR I’m thinking of getting my other brothers kids to help me since I’m catering Xmas this year at their house.

I do the tree even if there’s very little to put under it, I wrap presents elaborately in plain paper and ribbons and my house and trees are decked out in lights. I even bought tinsel this year (which I usually hate)!

I don’t like spending Xmas alone, would rather have a houseful of strangers/strays which has happened in the past. Mum even takes in strays at Xmas time so they’re not alone.

Next year I hope to have Christmas with Chocky Desires Dad and brothers family in Scotland. See snow for the first time, make a snowman and maybe catch up with Songbird in the Sth of France. Walk Oxford Street in London to see all the lights and have NYE.

That’s my mission for 2018.

I love how you do this topic pretty much every year Meander. Whilst I don’t appear to be overly enthused about Xmas this year I KNOW I’ll love swimming with the kids on Xmas day. Singing with my sisters, mum and dad around the table in the pergola and racing around to see as many dear friends as I can at home over the 3 days.

Because really....Xmas isn’t about expensive gifts and who got the most. It’s about togetherness, being close to those you love and who love you back. Sharing a meal and good cheer and doing “groupies” not “selfies” 🙂 and giving a White Rose or a kindness to make some random person you’ve noticed in your travels know they are appreciated (Sir Lurk inspired this years ago and it’s stuck)

My roses this year are going to a lady who walks her front yard every morning at 7am on her wheelie walker. I wave to her when I see her....never spoke to her. The 2nd I’m still deciding....

Meery🎄Christmas Everyone ~ Indy xx

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jayme2   Man 55yrs

I mainly go through the motions .

Xmas day I have a lunch with relo's I don't see all year ' which of some' always reminds me why ?

Hearing from my kids is always the highlight and hearing them say " love you dad " priceless.. For the curious ' they live in country NSW, and we all agree travelling at Xmas is the pits .. so we catch up when the world becomes sane again.

Apart from that ' I look forward to when it's all behind us...

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sweetgem   Woman 39yrs

As someone with no religion

I do not celebrate Christmas and neither do my family. Before my mum got ill, we would have quiet lunch, or dinner, together as a family on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but nothing festive with our food. However, we haven’t been able to have any family meals since 2016 Christmas due to my mum’s conditions deteriorated drastically and so she’s being unable to eat solid food since!

There was one time a while back, I had my dinner in front of my mum (because we live in a small place and there isn’t much room to hide and eat), I literally didn’t think much before I ate, so I did and caught my mum staring at my food and me eating! That look on mum’s face broke my heart and so I have been avoiding eating at home, if I could, since, because my mum lives on liquids only and she wants to eat the normal food, but she doesn’t know how to chew anymore, that’s why she been put to live on liquid food by a dietician at our local hospital 😢😢

Although, I don’t celebrate Christmas at home, I do use the festive season as an excuse to catch up with some of my friends, do some social networking, and enjoy the big sales on 😛 but other than that, Christmas is just another day to me as I’m not religious 😊

I suppose, some of us just don’t have that “it’s Christmas, celebration time, let’s chuck a party” etc. mindset to understand why would some people put so much pressure on themselves around Christmas time. Just like I don’t understand what’s the big deal about celebrating birthdays, especially my birthday because to me, my birthday day was the day my mum endured so much deadly pains to bring me into this world! She was suffering on that day! So what’s the fun about acknowledging what she had to endure every year? 😬 especially at this moment when I witness my mum goes day by day, I can’t help but to wonder whether or not the birth of me has contributed to my mum’s illness?! Therefore, I have stopped acknowledging my birthday starting from this year!

- Posted from rhpmobile
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Koolgrey   Man 44yrs

. . . .

This Christmas is the first for a few years that I won't catch up with my family in Cairns...instead, I'll work it on a big mine site in SA...and catch my family a few months later. When I can make a proper visit of it, instead of just a week or so.

I enjoy our Chrissy get-togethers...i don't buy anyone presents, and no-one gives me one, as it's not really a custom in my family( same with birthday pressies.. )...but we have a good, social time together for a few days or so.
When the whole, small clan travels from around the country and world to where we grew up, to bond again and share experiences.

That it's Christmas time is just coincidence...sort of, as school and work holidays for some of us play a role in that too.

It's my remaining family that are the real presents I'm given once a year...and I give them me, in return.
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jayme2   Man 55yrs


Having lost my mum a few years back.. I understand the emotions watching your mum deteriorate like that . Sadly ' that's part of life and a difficult time for everyone..

Personally ' I think your being a little to harsh on yourself. Bringing you into the world was a amazing feat for both you and your mum as are all births ' so I don't really understand what's not to celebrate..

I know I'm looking in from the outside , and you obviously have your reasons for shutting the things out you mentioned and I appreciate that's personal..

Sad story you tell, hope things look up for you real soon..

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Or as used to be known Yule(tide) another Pagan and Nordic celebration (winter solstice) hijacked by the Christians.

I play along but my hearts not in it.

Would mean so much more if it got back to its roots, who knows people might even find some respect for the world.

I know glum right, with the Christians on tv right now(royal commission), I don’t have much heart for their stolen celebration.
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On_Safari   Woman 46yrs

Sweetgem your Mum endures the pain of birth

Because she loves you and it’s a pain quickly forgotten. Don’t ever think you weren’t worth it!! I’m sure she doesn’t!! xx
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jennifer102   Woman 46yrs

Love christmas

But this year I will be working a morning shift, then will catch up with my family for a couple of hours then back to work for a night shift. My son agreed that, whilst he will miss me he agrees that the people I care for need someone there because " they may get no one to love them at Christmas" Sad words from a child but true for some of the people I care for.
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S_OnTheLoose   Man 39yrs


But... Christmas _is_ about the seafood, well, for me it's about the king prawns, kilos and kilos of the tasty buggers - at our Christmas it's like a race, with the outcome inevitable, my pile of shells is the biggest :)

And Mum complaining that we don't get any food if we don't wear the cracker hats.

It's only immediate family plus my niece, so it's very small, and we're not religious so it is just a day of prawns for lunch, custard and pudding with coins in it (current currency, so inserted after, not cooked in).
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Looking forward to when its all over

I don't get into Christmas much. When I was a kid I loved it of course, so as a single dad I muster up some enthusiasm for my daughter. I see Christmas as mainly about her - its a magical time for kids. But is it also a time when kids learn to be consumers for the sake of it. The accumulation of 'stuff' will surely make us happy (or will it suffocate us?).

As a vegetarian the whole 'stuff yourself stupid' feast is a bit dull. I have to smile politely as people make the tired old remarks about how great the food is. Its a meat eating society, I get that. But seeing this level of gluttony really puts me off eating the few scraps on the table that I can actually eat. It's as if they don't eat meat everyday. My mother has to get stressed over this meal every year. The family members are supposed to cram as much food in as possible to validate the efforts of my mother. Then everyone complains how full they are some start to nod off as their bodies struggle with the task of digestion. Yes - It's a white, middle class, first world 'issue'.

I also find it sad that I can't have an intimate family Christmas anymore with just my daughter and her mother. Its my second year of arguing about who gets to have my daughter and when.

I should be thankful. I don't want to be a Grinch. Of course I am lucky to still have family members to hang out with. But I will be glad when its all over.

Great topic Meander

Great sharing Sweetgem and On Safari. As ginandfrolic suggests, lets just be 'nice humans' to each other and focus less on being stressed out and exhausted consumers.
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Koolgrey   Man 44yrs


When i was young, and the 2 halves of the family came together for Christmas aunt would make steamed pudding with a Dutch gilder hiding in it, and my uncle ben( he's Dutch.. )would always find the coin in his slice.

We would search his pockets before sitting down even, but it was always in his piece...and he would find it everytime with a show of drama and humour.

I loved the magic and fun of those days, and I hope he's still alive.

I'm saving now to take a few months off next year to find and renew those bonds with the other half of the family.

We've been fractured for too many years...and for no reason.
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Couple Man 56yrs Woman 53yrs

Our Christmas

Loved loved your Christmas article Indy.

Your Christmas wish for 2018 is a bit similar to

ours except we want to be in New York .

Lets hope both our wishes come true. Lol.

We too r only giving presents to the parents and the

Little ones and baking Christmas treats like fudge, rum balls etc and giving as gifts in a small Christmas box to other family members.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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OkeyDoke45   Man 48yrs

Mixed feelings

I have so many feelings about Christmas. Christmas one year does absolutely nothing for me, the next I'll love it. Thankfully I don't have any family with me where I live so am free of obligations. I will fly to see family for Christmas every few years but otherwise Christmas day is usually just spending it with friends. Food, beer, rum, swimming, music, cards later on. All their kids run amok and have fun like kids should do, with temper tantrums late afternoon. It really is a lovely day.

There are some years though where you just can't be arsed. I went for a lovely drive one Christmas morning, just on a whim, and it was such a beautiful day I just wanted to keep driving. Fuck the world, I just wanted it to be me, my car and Kakadu for a day. I had promised to go to a friends for lunch though and was taking a particular food dish so felt obliged to turn around. Why can't the world just revolve around me?

Christmas can be such a stressful time for many. The pressure to buy presents, if I buy this person something then it's a bit rude if I don't buy that person something, all that kind of stuff. My mother is woeful at Christmas, she places a lot of weight on the dollar value of presents and gets sniffy if you get her or anybody a present that is cheap. Never mind that it's thoughtful, it cost less than $100 so is therefore disappointing. I am sure others feel this same pressure. I buy one of my sisters a present every year, she buys our other sister a present every year but never buys me one. What am I to make of that? I don't in truth give too much of a shit, but it's things like this which I think make people anxious about Christmas.

Like you Meander I work in the health industry and the increase in mental health presentations and assault is inevitable this time of year. There are people in this world who have absolutely nobody to share Christmas with, they look at everyone around them being happy with their family and friends and this makes them feel like they have no place in the world. There is not much i can do about this but it is worth sparing some thought for them, then go back to stuffing your face.

Christmas day itself is 50/50 in my line of work - 50% chance it will just be chaos with people thumping on at Christmas get-togethers. These days you really feel quite despondent about the human race. The other 50% it's fine and Christmas is what it should be - a day of good will and happiness. I'm not working it this year so I don't give a shit ultimately, but here's hoping this year is one of the latter for everybody.

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MsJonesy   Woman 50yrs

Fairly ambivalent

About Christmas this year. I have some of my family staying with me Christmas Eve which regularly occurs and is always wonderful fun. We will have Christmas morning together and have the fun of present sharing - and the resultant explosion of discarded paper. 😁 A couple of years ago we set a strict budget for presents so its more about being inventive than buying expensive stuff.

Then they are heading off for lunch with inlaws.....and I am quite happily doing nothing for the rest of the day. Well....more like drink champagne, maybe go to the beach. I've checked in with a community group who I work closely with (in a voluntary capacity) and if they need a hand with their Christmas Day work I am there...with Christmas bells on! Helping those in the community who struggle with life, who have little, on what can be a sad day for them is where my heart is this year. I've already donated over $300 worth of essentials (hygiene packs, undies, socks, tshirts, shorts etc) to another NFP who works with disadvantaged and homeless youth...their organisation has triple the number of presentations in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. That breaks my heart 😔

Some dear friends are aghast and keep offering that I join their gatherings, but truly, I am happy with my decision. I had 14 people at my house for Christmas last year, on the back of what was a nightmare of a year professionally....and it all just about sent me over the edge in terms of exhaustion.

Giving back, or having a quiet day, will do me just fine.
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It'll be fine...

and I'll do just the usual as I can't be puffed trying to co all the commercial stuff. My family is all overseas and it madness to try to fly home.

So I'll cook a nice full-on turkey dinner, eat excessively, hit the lefties again around 8:00 then pass out blissfully on the sofa not watching TV. A nice bottle of Scotch will sacrifice itself ...another one bits the dust"

Ho ho ho and jingle my bells.

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As for the religious meaning of Christmas...

....yes, I am a believer although find many organized religions a fair bit scary. It would be remiss not to mention that I have been blessed and had it not been for a true miracle, I would not be sitting here typing this note. My religion is the universe.

I guess it's not so much as to whether I believe in the Trinity but more that He believes in me.

William James in his noted book ''Variety of Religious Experiences'' conclude that man is so very finite we have no capacity to understand the infinite so if we are know we must take it on faith!

God bless and have a wonderful Christmas!

SLH ak........CM
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I love Christmas...

Because it means a new Star Wars film is being released.

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cavey50   Man 58yrs


My phone is switched off

My computer is switched off

I have a lady friend with whom I go to the beach with prawns and other fckn lovely nibblies..

Then of the evening, we have another light cold meal... AND trifle ..

It doesn't get much more simple then that..

No presents. No phone calls. No fuck all!!

I never could understand why the fuck I had to buy other pricks (I mostly didn't even fckn like) presents for someone ELSE's fckn birthday...

Go figure!!

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