At this same moment you may be still running around the shops searching for the last Christmas gifts and yet another ingredient for a perfect dinner. Your head may be full of thoughts and heart full of worries. You may be questioning everything: gifts which you want for yourself or others, cloths you plan to wear, tree decoration, people you want or don’t want around that tree or dinning table.
Imaginary pictures, sold by commercials and Hollywood movies year after year, make your expectations for this time of the year exceptionally high. You may wish snow though you live in climates where snow never falls, you want to hear carols in front of the door, even though this was never part of your cultural tradition, you want a huge Hollywood size tree with polar star at the top, but most of all you may secretly expect all of your wishes fulfilled in Santa-Claus-kind-of love or success stories.
In principle, you try to produce your own Christmas movie and be the only star in it. All scene settings and all acts in it, need to meet a perfection of a dream. With this, expectations rise far beyond reality, which often confronts you with a small tree or just a branch, with presents which may be ill-chosen or not appreciated, with children who cry loud their disappointment for not getting the newest i-phone or lego blocks, with partner who does not say the right words, with parents who keep criticizing.
In the middle of such chaos, you may feel overemotional, what generates irritation, disappointments, disillusioning, feeling of being unloved and lonely. Without noticing it, expectations undermine your life causing suffering on myriad ways. This may, in return, lead you to say unkind words, act unskilfully, or make poor decisions.
Hollywood movies and commercials, try to convince you that each shiny thing you buy will certainly bring you closer to that ultimate Christmas goal. But what actually happens is that the various industries are profiting on you. They imprint an illusion in your head, selling thereafter all possible things, which maintain that illusion. It is like if someone would make you believe that a moon reflection in a pond is actually a moon, which is reachable only if you buy a rocket and astronauts equipment. Your perception gets crooked.
But that does not mean that you should stop celebrating Christmas. Not at all! You just need to remember what is the purpose of this day. Perfection of the Christmas setting and the most expensive gifts could hardly be original purpose. There is no such thing as perfection in life. Life does not become beautiful because you are perfect, because your dinning table is covered with silk and expensive dishes or because your tree is best decorated. Nothing becomes beautiful because you are perfect but entire life becomes beautiful because you put your heart into everything that you do.
And you can do it only when your inner world is peaceful like clear water, if you simplify your life and get aware of what you do and how you do it.
Whenever Christmas stress tries to overwhelm you, these few points may serve you as an anchor:
Learning to give and take
Focus on sharing and giving instead of buying. An act of kindness may be a larger present than most expensive thing you purchased in a last moment and without any thought about it.
Learn how to appreciate gifts. Act of accepting a gift can be even more valuable than act of giving.
Learning to recognise own needs
Don’t compare with others. Most probably you don’t need the taller tree or bigger light decoration than your neighbour.
Be aware of influence, which commercials make on you. Don’t wait on TV or newspapers to tell you who you really are and what you need.
Keeping greed under control
Spending ridiculous amounts of money is pure waste considering that elsewhere, people struggle just to eat, to get medicine, to find shelter, or to get clean drinking water. The money spent over Christmas could feed a few dozen families.
Consider donating it to an organization that is helping deprived people.
Being aware of environment
Humans are nothing else than a nature itself. Taking care of nature we take care of our own wellbeing too.
Be aware of waste. Packaging during Christmas may not be considered as a waste contribution, but it is. Is it necessary to pack every toy in boxes double the volume of the toy itself? You may not be able to change this directly, but, if you chose not to buy such toys you could certainly make an impact. What about endless number of plastic bags? Do you really need this? If we are honest, present itself become a waste too. In over-consuming societies people already have more that enough, and each additional thing often goes directly into closet, just to be forgotten.
Be aware of the fuel, which you need when driving all over the place to shop or when stuff is delivered to your place.
Think about energy used for production of things that you actually don’t need.
De-cluttering apartment supports de-cluttering of the mind
What happens to all the gifts? They end up on our shelves or in our closets. Most people already have so much clutter and have problems figuring out what to do with everything they own. Why to clutter homes even more? Or to force clutter on our loved ones?
Select all what you don’t use and donate it to homeless or deprived people.
And maybe the most important point to remind your self over and over again:
Be parent who gives a good example
Teach children how to give and receive with an open heart. Clarify to them the game of the market, commercialisation, status symbols and group pressure. Once they learn the real nature of human games, they will not be ruled by it. They may change the World to better!