Take a quick trip to a shopping centre around Christmas and you will likely witness frenetic rushing, exhausted kids, queues in the food court and people hustling for parking spots.
At times like these it pays to remember that a ‘good enough’ Christmas — where your focus is on connecting to those you love, rather than what you have bought for them or cooked for them — may be more enjoyable than the strived-for ‘perfect’ Christmas.
Be prepared for moments that go ‘bugger’ — the burnt turkey, the crushed pavlova, the unexpected illness (I recall one Christmas morning when three of my sons came down with chicken pox for example), the sibling stuff that gets nasty instead of funny, the lousy gift, the overwhelmed toddler who refuses to sleep, the car break down, the no-gas for the BBQ just before cooking, the grumpy family member who criticises everything, the pulled muscle playing backyard cricket, the drunken poor decisions, the ‘off’ prawn and everything else that can potentially derail your intended Christmas.
When things go belly up, pause, take three breaths and say to yourself: “Now that’s interesting!!”
Nurture the loving moments, linger longer over cuppas and meals with those you love, recreate the rituals that mean something good for you, laugh lots and lots and see the world through your kids’ eyes – their joy, their delight, their overwhelm, their exhaustion. See their meltdowns as ‘not coping’ rather than behaving badly and things will flow so much better!
If you haven’t already read it please check out my article on the importance of family rituals.
This Christmas may you create loving memories that last forever!