How to fix my Christmas

I love my family, but last years Christmas killed me! After 3 full days of family, eating and christmas trees, I was done. “I’m never doing the again!” I proclaimed to Rian. “Next year we’re going on holiday and I don’t want anything to do with Christmas”. What went wrong, you ask?
Well let me explain.

What I love about Christmas and how it killed me!

Christmas is really about 3 things that I really love:

  1. I love my family and I like visiting and spending time with them.
  2. I love traditions, I think it is very important and brings people together.
  3. I love good food, I love to eat it and I love to cook it.

Combining the 3 things I love sounds like a perfect plan, but apparently there is something like too much of a good thing!
After a hectic week traveling to my fathers’ for Christmas Eve, spending the night there and having breakfast, then on to my mother in law, where more family would show up and I had to take care of the christmis dinner to make sure we weren’t going to “gourmetten”. After dinner we exchanged gifts and it was well past midnight before I could turn to bed.
And the next day: Christmas at my moms place.
Of course I enjoyed the company, love and the food and I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but after 3 days I was exhausted!

Everything was too much, the food was delicious, but with every bite I took I already knew that more and more food would follow. Making me feel a bit disgusted about my own gluttony.
Also things around Christmas become a bit tense in the social space. Everything should be perfect and everybody should have fun. This makes family visits feel a bit less natural. Which adds to the stress of trying to give every family the same amount of quality time so nobody feels left out.
If it was only one day, I would be fine. It probably wouldn’t be the most comfortable day of the year, but it would be manageble. 3 days on the though, are just too much.

So, how to fix Christmas?

As I promissed myself last year, this year I’ll be traveling during the holidays. But it’s not just vacation time, we’ll be visiting my brother-in-law in the USA. I’m looking forward to the trip, but I notice that I am dreading Christmas day itself, I’m probably still a bit traumatized from last years Christmas extravaganza.

The changes

Christmas is a yearly event and I know that I can’t run from it forever. I have to face my deamons and find a way to make Christmas enjoyable for me again. So here are some of the strategies I will follow to make sure future Christmasses become more fun:

  1. Limit it to one or two days max.
    By keeping visits a bit shorter we could easily visit both my mom and dad and my mother in law at the same day. This probably doesn’t take care of the too much food problem, but at least it will be just 1 day of too much delicious food.
  2. Inviting people to visit us
    I love it when people visit us, I can cook a nice dinner, light up the fireplace and make sure everybody is enjoying her- or himself. I really like being a host and I find it gives me energy to care for others.
    Only problem is that I can’t invite everyone over at the same time because my mom and dad don’t really get along anymore …
  3. Go on holidays
    That is the strategy I am following this year. Being in another country makes it easier to say no to Christmas altogether without really hurting someones feelings by not visiting them.
  4. Pre-Christmas
    The idea is to spread Christmas out over a longer time period. So instead of visiting the 25th or 26th of december. I could go over a week earlier. This way the whole event isn’t that fatigueing.
  5. Just eat less
    Too much of anything is never good, and too much food will make me feel terrible. Difficult things is: food is delicious!
    I guess I just have to be strong and try not to eat as much. To help myself with this I came up with a tactic: Only eat the one thing I like best and only eat 1. Most of the time, several things are served at once. So I just have to pick the thing I like the most in a moderate portion and I’ll be fine.

No humbug for me

While writing this post I realise that I still have quite strong negative feelings around Christmas and I’m a bit sad about that. I really used to enjoy Christmas a lot, but last year apparently was too much. I guess I just have to ease into Christmas again by taking it slow. This year I am covered, so hopefully that heals all the negativity and next year I’ll be able to fully enjoy Christmas again.

Picture above: Christmas tree and presents at my dad’s place a couple of years ago