Does Christmas always disappoint you?

I was talking with a client recently and we were discussing Christmas. She was bemoaning the fact that Christmas in Australia just didn’t feel like Christmas – because Christmas is not meant to be hot. You guessed it, she comes from the northern hemisphere.

My mother complained about Christmas not feeling like Christmas for the 44 years she lived here.

People who were born and bred in Australia complain that Christmas just isn’t the same, and then go on to blame all sorts of things for why.

So it would seem that Christmas just isn’t Christmas – no matter where you were born.

Christmas has changed for me. When my children were little we had Christmas at our house. Early in the morning they all piled into our bed with their pillowcases (a ritual I brought from my childhood in England) and had to open their presents with all of us together. My husband worked on Christmas Eve for years so by coming into our bed he was there but not really ‘there’. And that for my children became their idea of what Christmas was all about.

We had a routine and a ritual that suited us and our lifestyle and it continued on in this way for many Christmases. After the presents were opened we had a fruit platter for breakfast, a quick tidy-up and then over the road to the neighbours. The rest of the family came to our place for lunch and stayed for dinner. The day was spent playing with presents, playing in the pool, eating, drinking and just relaxing and enjoying each others’ company.

On Boxing Day 20 – 30 friends would come in the afternoon laden with their leftovers. My husband insisted we all sit at one table so we would join tables together on our deck and set out the food, we had toasts, speeches & singing and they were all very disappointed when we moved to Kiama because that had become a ritual for them.

As my children got older and partners came into the picture we had to revise how we did Christmas. We decided to celebrate  on Christmas Eve so that they could each go to their respective in-laws on Christmas Day. When we later moved away from Sydney that created yet another change.

My two sons now live in Melbourne and my two daughters in Sydney so we only all get together every second year. There were a couple of Christmas Days where at lunchtime my husband and I were there on our own. I didn’t much like those.

Now we have 10 grandchildren we get to experience Christmases that are a little like they were when my children were small. But they’re not the same. We really can’t go back in time.

Getting back to the conversation with my client. I was explaining that Christmas isn’t like Christmas for most people. For most people, like me, it changes over the years.

But the main reason Christmas disappoints us year after year is because we are trying to recapture Christmas the way it was when we were a child. We are trying to grab hold and relive the magic, the wonder, the anticipation, the pure unadulterated joy that we felt when we were five years old. When we believed in Santa Claus, we believed in magic, we believed in miracles. Before we became disillusioned by the drudgery of the truth.

This is why we love the fairy lights, the decorations, the carols, the kids Christmas movies because for just a few moments we can grab it again, we can feel it, we can remember the magic of believing that anything was possible!


More from Maiya

Maiya's Latest Musings

The importance of loving yourself

“The fundamental problem that most patients face is the inability to love themselves.” Bernie Siegel MD

I remember reading his book Love, Medicine and Miracles back at the end of the ’80’s and it resonated so deeply with me, something shifted inside.

Women of my generation have been taught to be perfectionists

We were taught that we need to be all things to all people

We were taught that to do something for ourselves,

to think of ourself was selfish … the very worst sin you could commit it seemed

Then you had people screaming that women can have it all

You could have children, be a mother AND have a high powered job

You could do anything and everything a man could do

What happened as a result of those high expectations was a generation of women who exhausted their bodies and their spirits trying to pack in all that they thought they were supposed to do

Be the 1950’s housewife with the perfect home & perfectly behaved children
and at the same time compete with men in the corporate world.

What an unsustainable, insurmountable goal that was!

In order to attempt to juggle all those balls in the air women had to sublimate their own needs to the needs of others.

When that happens our emotions have to shout louder and louder in order to get out attention

and because there is no time or space to focus on ourselves, plus we’ve been taught that to do so is wrong
thoughts and emotions get pushed further and further down
and that’s when the physical symptoms begin

[I read that martyrs experience chronic resentment – that was so me when my children were younger!]

When you look at this very simplified explanation you can see the problems this created,

both in my generation and the generations to follow.

Each generation tries to rebalance the wrongs they felt the previous generation inflicted upon them

I see the same things manifesting in my clients,
each generation having their own set of issues
and most of them say they feel stuck.

At the crux of all of it is the need
to be seen and heard, to be validated and acknowledged

and how quick the turnaround and change begins when that happens!

Focusing on yourself is not selfish,
experiencing pleasure is not selfish,
they are both crucial for vibrant health!

Read More »

Money is the Root of All Evil …

Did you hear that when you were growing up? Perhaps you heard ….. ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’, ‘we can’t afford it’, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to pay these bills’, ‘you need money to make money’, ‘you have to work hard to earn

Read More »

Our body is always talking to us?

Sadly, most of us don’t listen.   Or we only listen when we are brought to our knees.   I admit that even though I have known this for a long time and have been teaching it for the past twenty years I don’t always

Read More »