Christmas is a very odd time of year.
Yes, there's a lot of brilliant elements, like:
Time with family.
Watching shit films with no guilt.
Crisp winter walks.
Feeling lucky and safe….
It’s all grand.
But equally it has its challenges.
Christmas is riddled with expectations and strong ones at that.
There’s an energetic undercurrent to any Christmas celebration that can turn what is the most wonderful time of year into a waltz through a minefield.
Whenever we fixate upon a particular time or event; we can often be disappointed.
The fantasies we create in our minds can never be realised and therefore, so often, we feel deflated when once again we turn our back on the festive season.
The biggest difficulty we face is that most of these expectations are not articulated.
However, if we just spend 10 minutes thinking about what Christmas means to us, what we love about it and what we think it means to the people we share our lives with; we can clear the mines and dance with gay abandon.
I just spent 10 minutes walking the dogs whilst I used the fab new Talk It Out app.
My subject was the ghost of Christmas pasts!
By the time I had finished I was way more excited about what was to come because I realised, for me, that Christmas is just about connection.
And I had an incredible insight.
I actually feel quite lonely at Christmas.
Odd to realise that - especially since I am surrounded by my family.
But what I noticed, through using Talk It Out, is that we often have very specific roles that we adopt for this big event.
My chief one is being the Chef.
I therefore spend huge amounts of time in the kitchen on my own. I do genuinely enjoy this time, but it does detach me from everything else that's going on in my home.
It also makes me feel hugely responsible and pressurised.
I also realised that because we usually invite guests, we tend to focus upon spending time with those precious people that we rarely see.
And this means we don’t give as much love and attention to our partner, and for me, conversations with my wife can become more functional than connecting.
The process of delivering a ‘good Christmas’ can easily become a project rather than an amazing, never to be repeated, immersive, soul-filling experience.
I'm sure you have your own relationship with this time of year that has its own complexity and nuance.
There are certain obligations that we have probably never challenged.
Roles we fall into without questioning them.
Spend 10 minutes using Talking It Out and you may just wonder if this year you may do it differently.