Christmas Holidays

Christmas tends to bring unwanted stress to families as we all deal with financial worries, distance from family and friends, separation and divorce or even bereavement. It seems to be this time of the year when we are planning our celebrations that the trials of the year hit us the most…

The increase in property value may be great if you entered the housing market 15-20 years ago but for those that have only made their first investment, living within new budgets could be causing a few headaches. Add to that the expense of christmas gifts and food and it can be a disquieting holiday season. My biggest suggestion – and you may not agree with me, is to simply give a small gift and card. I think we place to much emphasis on gifts. Its almost a competition, who got who what? I have seen friendships come under fire because of money spent. It shouldn’t be about the size or how much you spent, its the thought that counts. There are plenty of gift shops were you can purchase a small gift to post or simply send a gift card. Why add more stress to our lives?

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Many of us have family spread across Australia or overseas that we would wish for nothing more than to spend time with them this holiday, but it just wont be possible. I have family all over the world and its this time of the year when you feel their distance the most. Thankfully we live in a world full of fabulous technology. I know its not the same thing but I would much rather have the option of talking via the net than nothing at all. Skype is a great program that can be downloaded onto your computer. As long as you have a camera on your screen and working speakers you will be able to talk to your loved ones. Apples FaceTime is another option. You can even get creative and move your pc, laptop or iPad into your dinning room on christmas day – i have done it with my sister Kellie in Maroochydore Queensland.

Unfortunately life has a way of throwing a curve ball, unforeseen separations and divorces can impact your mood this season. I know its easy to say – try to keep your chin up….but you know what? thats exactly what I am going to say….its not easy. Life isn’t a free ride, it would be great if it was but the reality is it just isn’t. Sometimes people make decisions in their lives that they feel would be for the best, if you have separated or are going through a divorce being surrounded by your friends and family is a step in the right direction. Share your thoughts and feelings, embrace the love you all share – thats what friends and family are for.

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When it comes to parents that have separated or divorced, if both adults are not on good terms, try to be civil. Theres a high chance you might want to throw the turkey at your ex’s head, but try and keep that idea to yourself, and keep any disagreements out of your children’s hearing. Watching your ex walk out the front door with custard dripping down his face may feel good for you, but could be very traumatic for young ones. You can always arrange staggering christmas celebrations with your ex, one partner could have the children in the morning, the other parent could have the children in the afternoon. Christmas Eve with one parent, Christmas Day with the other. Try to come to a mutual arrangement were everyone will be happy.

Christmas time can be a very difficult time of the year when we have lost our loved ones. Its during the festive season when we feel the loss the most. A partner, a parent, a sibling or a child…my heart goes out to you all, when your heart is hurting and your emotions are on a roller coaster celebrating without your dearest ones can be a difficult time. Depending on your families traditions you could always place some pictures around your christmas tree, light a candle or invite others feeling their loss to share in your celebrations. You may not feel like rejoicing the day but I want to tell you this – they are still with you in your heart….in the heart of all those that love them…celebrate their lives with the meaning of Christmas. They will always be with you, especially at this time of the year.

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As we all wind up another year its a great time to reflect, on the highs as well as the lows. My dad has said to me – “You have to experience the bad days to appreciate the good ones”…and its so true. Life is a roller coaster, sometimes we get dealt a crappy hand, and other times we have a moment that makes us proud and leaves a great big smile on our faces. Take a step back and take in a great big deep breath. Yep – 2014 is coming to an end, and their are more great times to be had just around the corner. Christmas can be a stressful time of the year, but it doesn’t need to be. Try to make the most of what you have, surround yourself with those you love and hold dearest in your heart. Its not about what you have or don’t have, its about family….its about friends, as we all know life can be fleeting – embrace what you have and make plans for a better year ahead. 2015 is just around the corner – embrace the impending new year and all its wonderful possibilities – chin up – enjoy this years festivities and give your loved ones a hug….

….and a great big one from me ((((HUG))))

x x x

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