Christmas just got pretty much cancelled for many Londoners and loads of folks are mega disappointed and angry. Understandable.
The government and granny just got super unpopular.
If this is a major blow, I hope the following words might take the sting out a little.
TRIGGER WARNING: unpopular opinion.
Christmas, new year, birthdays, anniversaries etc are constructs that humans have created and given meaning to. These meanings create expectations of what we "should" be doing on such occasions, and it's these, plus our imbalanced thinking of how we perceive them (we tell ourselves they're amazing) that make us suffer if we don't get what we want.
When we are faced with not being allowed to do something, it tends to make us want it more, even if we previously had no desire to do it (E.G don’t think of a pink elephant, don’t buy excessive amounts of loo paper and definitely don’t eat 3 slabs of chocolate when you’re on a diet). Did you just think of a pink elephant? Dammit, I told you not to!
So being told we can't have the Christmas we usually expect makes us want it more and pisses us off. But does it have to be this way?
What if we think of Christmas differently, for what it really is...?
Christmas is often a strange time for families. We have to put up with that creepy uncle or the angry-drunk cousin, annoying siblings, awkward in-laws and family members we see once a year because we HAVE to, not because we WANT to. The intensity of it all makes family resentments hit a high, arguments abound and shit hits the proverbial fan. Or we just sit there awkwardly wondering when is a polite enough time to excuse ourselves and go and call or hang out with the people we actually like.
It's a ton of effort for a few hours (or, heaven forbid DAYS) with people we don't like that much. It's a relief when it's all over.
So instead of lamenting not being with the famdamily, try to remember the truth of how awful it really is when you are with them; how stressful it can be. OMG and let’s not get started on the food. At least this way some of us won’t have to politely tolerate dry turkey, Brussels sprouts and bread sauce🤮 and can eat something we genuinely love instead. Hello duck confit for one!
We are now given a legitimate excuse, when many of us are short on cash, to save money not buying presents that will inevitably end up forgotten at the bottom of a drawer anyway. Good riddance, I say!
Now that we've brought Christmas down off its undeserved pedestal, let's look at the other side of the cancelled-Christmas coin. Think of the wonderful things you CAN do on Xmas instead - I will be doing more of what I love - exercising, working on my master plan and shamelessly slouching and farting at the table, licking my plate and not being told off for it. Can’t do that around the family!
If you think of it as an ordinary day off work, where you can do whatever you want without having to necessarily please, appease or tolerate anyone else, what would you love to do with this marvelous gift of time (within the confines of lockdown rules, that is)? Remember, it’s all about the meaning we give things. We can’t control what happens around us but we can control how we perceive things. Bah humbug.