Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas Serenity Against All Odds

Christmas Serenity Against all Odds
This post was going to be about how I find Christmas serenity by having a plan.

Years ago, when working full-time, between dealing with deadlines, MS and SAD, then having to do battle in crowded supermarkets and shopping malls, December became a nightmare. There was more than one Christmas Eve with not a ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ to be had. I decided to either come up with a plan for doing all that was needed before the last minute, or just stop celebrating Christmas. So… a plan it was.

I should have shared my plan with you, back in October when I started, but I didn’t think about it until a couple of weeks ago! (This is the proof, were any needed, that I definitely don’t have all my sh*t together. Christmas Plan - done, Content Calendar for the blog – not so much). At this stage in the game, my plan would be less than helpful, also it is no longer the point.

The point is to get everything done by the end of November. This leaves December free to remember what Christmas is all about. This is where the serenity comes from. I can relax and focus on what is important, like family and friends, as well as have time to enjoy all the uniquely Christmas activities. It’s also a time I spend in personal reflection.

This year serenity and reflection have been hard to come by, given the world events of recent days and weeks. I am feeling overwhelmed by the malevolent rather than the good. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and be ignorant of what is happening, but the emotion of so much tragedy is draining, especially when combined with a feeling of helplessness.

In order to maintain my personal peace and equilibrium I need to limit how much of this information comes into my living room. I find the evening news to be manipulative even on a good day. Most of us experience genuine grief and anger at the tragic events that take place around us. We don’t need someone inciting us to even more.

(And after the crass journalistic display in San Bernardino this past week, all I can say is ‘THIS IS NOT NEWS!’ You are definitely not the people, grubbing around amid personal photos and children’s toys, that I want bringing me this information! Surely you have been trained to know better.)

As for social media, we all see that vilification of the ‘other’ is now the norm. It demands a psychological toll however, on both the writers and the readers of such vitriol. Moreover, trying to change the long-held beliefs of another person is usually an exercise in futility, often leading them to defend their position more stridently.

So for now, I will control what I can, my own four walls. Less evening news, more Christmas movies with happy endings; less Facebook, more time outside. I’m taking a timeout, to recharge my batteries, spend time with my family and step back from the world.

My hope is that we can all do the same, to catch our collective breath. After the celebrations are over, and with the promise of a New Year, perhaps we can work (together) to find the solutions the world so desperately needs.

For now, Peace on Earth and Good Will toward Men.


  1. I needed this Donna! I just got off work and while walking from groceries to car, I realized a great sadness was coming over me. I had no idea why. I am alone but not lonely. I watch C'mas movies but am not feeling festive. I think you nailed it... the storm around me is suffocating. Maybe realizing this will help me to get through the month in minimal pieces.

    1. My dear, I'm sorry that I didn't see your comment before now. It's a tough time this year, trying to be festive when there's so much going on in the world. I know that you have more than most to contend with right now. I hope that you are feeling better, and that you're in a better place (literally & figuratively!)