I love Christmas. I love the food and being together. I love decorating the house and buying (and receiving!) gifts. I love the opportunity to celebrate.
There is a but.
All the expectations around what Christmas could or should be can make me anxious.
Until a few years ago as December approached I would find myself starting to worry. Would everyone have a good time? Had I remembered everyone’s presents? Did the house look festive enough?
Pressure and stress built up as the list of non-negotiable (as I saw it at the time) events filled my diary. I would panic about the most bizarre things: Would my child be ill for her nativity play? Would I provide the right gifts for teachers? Would my son like his Christmas jumper? Would I enjoy my work’s Christmas night out?
I would try and stay on top of all the arrangements and hold all the details for all the events in my head. I would make lists of all the things my children would need on various days: the money for the school party, the costume for the play, the cards for their friends. I would always be worrying I was going to forget something vital and let everyone down.
My diary would fill up will lots of lovely events. I wanted [to] go to them all, to be relaxed and laid back about it, while wearing a carefully planned outfit and looking fabulous. I wanted to be organized and care-free, to always be the one bringing the fun.