Did someone say December?

What? I never got the memo, is it really December already?

You’re kidding, who stole 2018?

And not only that, it means Christmas is almost upon us. Bright lights, snow (fake or real depending on whether you’re hardy enough to live in the north (or south if you’re in the southern hemisphere)), Hallmark movies, presents and so much love and joy we’re almost drowning in it.

Or not. 

Because let’s be honest, and you know I’m genetically predisposed to honesty, Christmas isn’t always the jolly holiday we’d like.

We struggle with the busyness and overwhelm while trying to remember what the season is all about. We struggle with our crazy and all to often difficult and painful family dynamics – cousin Lisa married that guy Pete who always pinches your bum after a few drinks, and Christmas always reminds us of loved ones who presence looms solely because of their absence.

We struggle to find presents that aren’t going to break the bank flexing the credit card beyond breaking point, and more than anything we struggle with the loneliness. Whether we’re single, divorced, widowed or simply can’t travel because of work or finances, we struggle to accept kind invitations from friends because it feels like pity.

Christmas can be so complicated and tangled. So stressful and painful despite its message of joy to the world. We can end up wanting to bury our head in a bowl of peppermint bark until the new Year.

So what are we meant to do? How are we meant to handle it all without going crazy, burning out, screaming at the kids and remortgaging the house to pay for it?

I wish I had the answers, I don’t,  but I do have 2 things things for you.

Firstly, if you want to be cryogenically frozen until Christmas is over, skipping all the stuff it throws at you, I want to tell you you’re not alone.

You’re not a bad person or a bar humbug. You’re totally normal. I’ve felt the same way and so have oodles of others.

Secondly I want to give you a gift. There are way too many of us who struggle with the holidays and I wanted to pick the brains of some girlfriends of mine who’ve been where we are and then share what we’ve learned over the years.

I decided to ask them to join me around an imaginary fireplace. I handed them an imaginary warm mulled wine and we had an open and honest chat about how best to handle it all. I asked them what they do, how they navigate this tricky season with all its hopes, dreams and expectations, especially when life is more messy and broken than merry and bright. 

I wish you’d been there to join us but instead I did the next best thing.

I recorded our conversation so you can listen in and eaves drop like a not too creepy friend.

Heck, no need to eaves drop, just pull up a chair and listen in once you’ve downloaded the recording. I’ve named it How to Handle Anything Christmas Throws at You: Enjoying the holidays without losing your mind, killing your people or going into debt. 

We talked about

  • handling grief
  • being single
  • sulky teenagers
  • crazy mad dangerous families
  • money
  • entitled children
  • trying to keep Jesus in the centre of it all

You name it, we went there.

Just click the link or the image, pop in your name, email and whether you’ve been naughty or nice (just kidding!) and my oh so clever computer elves will send it in a one horse open sleigh straight to your inbox. You’re welcome!

As always, some of the best conversations happen in the comments and since thriving and not just surviving Christmas is a team sport, tell me what your biggest Christmas struggle is and how you’re going to make this Christmas the best ever.

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