Although Christmas is a long-awaited time that most of us who celebrate it love, it’s filled with dangerous spikes that can poison the blissful, festive atmosphere. Let’s have a look at what to avoid to have this holiday season stay jolly and not turn into a gingerbread spiced disaster.
It’s hard not to see that the older we get, the more things have to get done before Christmas. December seems to be filled with gift shopping rush, meticulous house cleaning, baking, decorating, going to Christmas meetings with friends you won’t get to be with during Christmas, dealing with end-of-year responsibilities and many, many other things. And suddenly the festive time you used to love as a child turns into a painful duty that consumes a month of your life and has to be repeated every year. Wouldn’t it be great to feel the festive magic we remember from when we were young? In fact, I feel that a lot of the Christmas rush and pain is our own fault. We want everything to be perfect for the price of losing the chance to cherish the moment. Is it really worth it though? Is everything we do before Christmas absolutely necessary? Do you really think anyone will mind if, instead of baking a 5th type of cookies, you just buy some in a supermarket? Do you really think that anyone will notice a difference between furniture wiped with a cloth and cleaned with the tiniest toothbrush? If there are still a few days left until Christmas and you already feel completely knackered and fed up with life, just take a step back, relax, and think: ‘is everything I have left to do is really that important?’. And try to be objective as you answer.
Relatives you only see once a year (thank God!)
You’ve finished the pre-Christmas rush and all you want to find under a Christmas tree is a one-way ticket to your very own hermitage where you could finally get some rest. But instead, you’re gifted with an opportunity to see some of your relatives you’re actually glad to only have to see once a year. And then you sink in your aunt’s questions you don’t necessarily want to answer (‘so tell your auntie, have you finally found a boyfriend/girlfriend?’, ‘when are you gonna get married?’, ‘kids, why don’t you have kids yet?’), feel like a war victim when your dad and your uncle fight over politics again, and go mad seeing your cousin’s children run around with food and drinks on a freshly washed carpet (‘they’re just kids, she’s only 10!’). Sounds familiar? Probably everyone can relate to at least some points like that. It’s not something you can avoid, but try to focus on positives instead. You have to endure all of that on Christmas day? That means you don’t have to go through it on 364 other days of the year. Phew! Just stick a long-trained smile number 5 on your face, answer uncomfortable questions with generic statements and, for once in a year, don’t care too much. Take a glass of wine, sit comfortably on a sofa and let the show go on.
Don’t we all love the variety of festive food that we have on Christmas? How many times does it end up with regretting that second helping of the main course and the third piece of cake though? It doesn’t only apply to Christmas, so every piece of advice can (and should) be used every time when overeating is a risk.
First of all: eat slowly. There’s a 30 min delay between eating and your brain processing it. So when you feel completely full, it usually means that in fact you were full 30 minutes ago. And if for that time you just continued devouring everything that was in your sight… you’re gonna feel bad, really bad.
Second thing: don’t put too much on your plate at once. This works like a charm, really. Usually, when you feel like getting a second helping, food’s still waiting on the table for you to help yourself. On the other hand, when we take too much, we often feel obliged to eat it all – even when we know it’s a bad idea for many reasons.
Also, if there’s anything worse than overeating itself, it’s a combination of overeating and fizzy drinks. I’m not saying that you should deny yourself your favourite soda on Christmas, but it’s good to keep in mind that it won’t make you feel any better.
On the contrary, when, if not during Christmas, is the right time to loosen your dietary restrictions a bit? Don’t be too hard on yourself, most of us love good food and it’s okay to fully enjoy it on an occasion like that! 🙂