My love-hate Relationship with Christmas

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Christmas ever since I was young.


As an adult I’ve continued to oscillate between fearing the covert narcissistic thing that would be said or done, desperately planning not to let the hurt diminish or derail me, and the innate hopefulness of preparations, because maybe this year, I would feel truly understood and cared for. There was also by adulthood, the added burden of planning and organising a happy Christmas for my children and watching that be derailed year in, year out.

So often people write about the stress of Christmas – all that decorating, baking, gift buying and wrapping. Or they write about the abject loneliness that so many suffer at Christmas due to fractured families and lost loved ones. Then there’s the atrocity of domestic violence that peaks in all the alcoholic fuelled celebrations of Christmas.

Strange how something that’s meant to be about love can go so askew. That seems to be the story of humans and love though, doesn’t it? It gets all confused and tussled.

But this year I’m in love with Christmas because what I also see is a whole lot of people intent on trying to be kinder, more thoughtful, more tolerant. They give me a warmer smile on the street and a cheerier hello. Couples rush to counselling because they really want to make things better. Clients go out of their way to say a warm hi as we both shop at the Vic Markets looking for Christmas fruits and vegetables. Neighbours without my asking, offer their spare carpark for my son’s ute whilst they’ll be away. In fact I see kindness flowing just a little more easily everywhere I go, just because it’s Christmas.

So this year I’m delighting in Christmas, finally freeing myself of all those years of narcissistic cruelty. I’m making a pledge to myself to keep all that Christmas kindness and thoughtfulness flowing just a little more richly throughout my year. Because that’s all we really want for Christmas isn’t it – to matter, to feel connected, to feel the lightness that someone’s kindness brings to our day.

So even if you’re having a bit of a crummy Christmas, go looking for the kindness where it can be found, and give, give kindness to someone, anyone, everyone … it’ll make your Christmas day, I promise – and then join me in trying to carry that joy of giving throughout your year.

Happy Christmas and a Kind New Year everyone!