The holiday/Christmas season is a time to enjoy and spend time with the people closest to us. The people we love. Or is it? 

Some of the most stressful times of the year are the lead ups to big events like Christmas. There is so much to do! So much and so many to shop for! Financial pressures! So many past issues, memories and incidents to consider. “My brother leaves me to do almost everything. Only does the odd chore and I’m left with all the workload!” Does that sound familiar? 

With every family gathering there is potential for past emotional baggage to be aired and intensified. 

What past emotional baggage are you bringing to the (Christmas) table with you? Remember if you are arguing over the turkey , it’s NOT about the turkey. It’s always about bigger issues – a sense of fairness, favouritism etc.

Let’s explore my statement about my brother. If, in fact, my brother doesn’t contribute to the workload of Christmas and if this makes me angry and resentful – who’s fault is that? –  MINE! If I choose to not set better boundaries; if I choose to not have the crucial conversations that I should be having; if I have unresolved past emotional baggage with my family that I have chosen to not deal with, and allow it to fester in my mind, – who’s fault is it?? Entirely mine! 

So I choose to be grateful my brother is here; being his energetic, games playing self.

The quality of your relationships is directly linked to how many uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.

Of course, over Christmas turkey is not the time nor the place to have crucial conversations. But have the courage to have these conversations later, with compassion and ownership of your part of the deal, if you so feel this is necessary. 

If people are trying to bring drama into our celebrations remember “Not my monkey; not my circus” and walk away from it.

Remember that Christmas is only as stressful as we allow it to be. Christmas is just another day. We add the pressure, the expectations, and the baggage.

No two Christmases are ever the same. Enjoy the people who you choose to spend it with. These are the precious memories we will look back on.

Merry Christmas to you all!

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