For a lot of us, December involves Christmas and the stresses surrounding it. What to buy people? Who’s coming for Christmas? Do we have enough lights on our Christmas tree? I’m pleased to report that we have 2000 lights on our 5ft tree this year, so I think we probably do.
We have our daughter’s birthday in December and whilst she was meant to be November, she decided to hang on for another nine days to the dawn of December. Despite being repeatedly told by my Mum not to come on that day, as that’s the day the tree goes up, my daughter decided the 1st December was the perfect day for her arrival.
My very own “elf on the shelf”.
This was 5 years ago.
My husband and I also have our wedding anniversary at the end of November too, just to add into the celebratory mix.
For me, January to June are peaceful, restful and I don’t have to worry about what presents to get anyone.
But I realise that means 6 months have passed, and those 6 months have gone by very quickly, then the palpitations start and then the question of “Is it too early to think about the Birthday/Christmas shopping and preparations?”
Having a child’s birthday in December means you must plan early. If you want a hall or venue that is not already taken for a Christmas market or other festive event, then you must get in there quick. Your choice of birthday cards, wrapping paper and birthday supplies becomes very limited because Christmas has taken over.
I must think of what to buy, but also to make sure that the birthday is actually celebrated as a birthday, and Christmas as Christmas. I can’t do “doubling up”, and I can’t think “She will get plenty for her birthday, so at Christmas we won’t spend as much”. It doesn’t work like that in my eyes. I have to treat both events separately.
I forget to do the advent calendar until about day 5 and we then have cards everywhere from Anniversary, Birthday & Christmas!!!
This year, my anxiety hit a new level because I had work deadlines to factor in too. I also had anxiety at trying to juggle a lot of issues going on in my personal life too, to the point that trying to decide on a colour for some new curtains and duvet cover was a challenging to the point that I became ill because of it.
I was so preoccupied in my own little world that I left the 3 foot tall, helium filled “5”balloon for my daughter at the soft play centre after meeting some friends there. I realised after I’d left then had to double back to retrieve it, just to make sure I had it for the next day.
I also find that carrying a large helium balloon is not dissimilar to looking after a child.
You hold on to it like your life depends on it.
You can’t leave it anywhere in case it wanders off
You must have eyes on it at all times
You can’t really believe how expensive they are
I started to feel the anxiety over it, because all I kept thinking was “Please don’t fly away or burst on me”
I know what I’m like. I put pressure on myself to ‘perform’ and to make sure I do the best I can, so I don’t feel the regret, guilt and remorse if I don’t deliver
Unfortunately, it’s a vicious circle and it’s hard to break.
I know each year we will have a December birthday and Christmas, but like all things they will get easier and more controllable. I learn from the previous year what works and what doesn’t.
So if I start talking about planning my December events in June you now know why.