How to thrive in December

Turkey, Ham, Hasselback potatoes and cupcakes.

Christmas holds so many expectations, hopes, fears and past traumas for each of us. Often, we don’t reflect on these or share these directly with our partners, families, and close friends but we frequently act out these emotions and that impacts our Christmas experience in profound ways.

I have given Christmas homework to many clients this year. A client came back to session after having had a conversation with herself, her husband, and their children. The result was the title of this piece, Turkey, Ham, Hasselback potatoes and cupcakes. This family has faced many obstacles this year. After reflection and discussion, they consciously created a Christmas experience that reflected their capacity and needs at this time, they uncovered that the meal together on Christmas day was most important, they discovered that the size of the meal wasn’t important, they realised that they had missed time together this year, and they realised that what mattered this year would be coming together.

Book a date with yourself to sit down and write out some of your Christmas pleasures and Christmas stressors. Read and process what you’ve written. Notice what you love about Christmas, notice what stresses you, what relaxes you, what motivates you, what regenerates you. Notice the wounds and hurts from Christmases past, notice loved ones whom you’ve lost through death, divorce, family schisms, distance, friendship that ended prematurely. Read and process what you’ve written. Now write about your ideal Christmas…..what does it look like, smell like, taste like, sound like?

Now book a date with your partner and share some of these and invite them to tell you theirs. Talk about Christmas when you were a child what do you miss now in your adult Christmas space so filled with responsibilities?  Dream a little about what you would like.  Ask your partner to share their ideal Christmas, then you share yours, now build something new together.

Build your mindful Christmas together based on your new understanding of yourself and your partner perhaps ask your children and close family to be involved. There may be many things that you can’t control or change over the Christmas period but with reflection and planning you may be able to create a more mindful experience that meets your needs in small, meaningful and regenerative ways.

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