I have been procrastinating writing this weeks post. It’s not because I don’t want to but mostly because I am tired. Christmas has gotten me beat.
I work in hospitality so while everyone else is winding down we’re ramping up (note – this is the most I will mention work in any one shot). It’s consistantly large numbers and while you might be thinking ‘oh it’s just food’ pumping out 200 plus meals in 4hrs is a lot plus at least half that during the day on top. It takes a toll on you physically and mentally. For me it’s the mental drain that hurts me the most because that much intense contact with large amounts of people is a lot for an introvert (I’m an introvert with extrovert tendancies – loud as hell and very chatty. Hate large groups of people and recharge from being alone). Years of cheffing means waking up with sore feet and feeling broken from the knees down is standard so the physical challenges are less taxing.
For other people I know that the holidays have them broken for a whole other host of reasons.
Some people feel pressure to put on the perfect Martha Stewart/Donna Hay Christmas do. Colour co-ordinated hand crafted table decorations and all. The might feel the pressure because it’s their first Christmas hosting and they feel like they have to live up to someone else’s standards for Christmas. Again, in this respect my cheffing background saved me. When we have Christmas it’s done my way and I plan it out like it’s just another function. Run sheet and all (run sheet is pretty much like a scheduled timeline of how much, what and when shit needs to happen to be ready for a function). If you’ re the one cooking it do it your own damn way especially if you’re doing a hot dinner in the Australian summer. People who don’t like it don’t have to bloody well come or THEY can host it.
I know the gifting aspect of Christmas causes a lot of stress. How much do you spend? Should you equivalent spend for people you know spend a lot on you or your kids? How do you give decent gifts if you’re broke as hell? How do you buy the perfect gift? what do you buy that person who either had everything, money to burn, or is impossible to buy for? It’s true that being with people is what Christmas is about you cant deny the whole present shenanigans is a part of it. My advice is do what you can and are comfortable with. If that’s making art or giving people home cooked things do it. If you do the art thing paint pictures, take photos, make it personal. Offer to mind kids so the parent or parents can have a night off. It’s not a lot but it’s thoughtful. I have a meltdown buying my husband a Christmas present every year because when you ask what he wants his response is always “whatever you get me will be great”. Doesn’t ask for things doesn’t want anything. That’s a whole big open option and it’s quite daunting. He always gives such awesome presents I feel obliged to give something equally as bad ass. I put WAAAAYYYY too much pressure on myself by overthinking it all. I get there eventually but I just need to chill.
I know the holidays can leave people pretty raw. Some are unable to be with the ones they love so it can be pretty lonely. I know a few people like this who are stuck away from homes because of uni/work. Many of them get together and have Christmas which is pretty cool. If being alone is your jam get yourself set for a day of relaxing and just be. Sleep in, do the things you love and claim the day for yourself even if you can’t be with those you love.
Sometimes people hate the holidays because of past hurts. It represents family drama, personal problems and self destruction. If this is the case I don’t know what to tell you. I wont pretend to know what you’re going through because I don’t and to make out like I do is just insulting. The only thing I can do is come at it from a mental health stand point. Take care of yourself mentally and physically. Stay healthy. Do things that make you feel good but are not harmful. Feed yourself. Spend time with people who support you. Hell, better still give yourself a present. Go see your GP and start yourself on a path of action to help your situation.
In short belting out All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey is fun. So is seeing nanna getting a bit pissy over lunch. However that doesn’t stop Christmas from being a complete bitch sometimes. Enjoy it the best you can and I’ll see you on th eother die ironically with a post Christmas Eve……