Coming into Christmas our minds get consumed with to do lists, events, expectations and the worry about how to fit it all in. I want to create a memorable Christmas for my daughter. With food, celebrations and presents. I want to relive my own fond childhood memories of Christmas through her. The thought of seeing her widen her eyes when opening a present, seeing her excitement fuels me with joy and anticipation. But then a breath later, my head has started working out what to get, where to get it and whether or not I have time to get it today or later, what to make, how to make it and what I need for making it.... My head starts snowballing into plans of baking, creating, washing, decorating, playing Christmas music, until I catch myself thinking: "I really should learn how to play the guitar, how cool would that be to play live Christmas carols together?" and I am hit with stress and guilt. Then my arguments with myself start: "How silly to make those plans, that's unrealistic, calm down, you are putting too much pressure on yourself", I respond to myself: "well, if you wouldn't work all the time you would be a better mother, other mums are always there for their kids and do crafty things, what are you going to do? Just get something made out of plastic from K-mart?" and my eyes glace over while I continue my argument with myself and the joy of creating stops. Whether it's for the studio, home or for Christmas. Creating is over.
Knowing I never win arguments with myself, I stop and I take a breath- my go to place- and feel into it. Where does this pressure come from? There is fear of not being a good parent enough. There is fear of creating traumatic memories of Christmas for my girl. There is homesickness, missing my family.... and the awareness rises that all this stuff I just made up in my head has to do with escaping this pain and fear. Once I learn to get comfortable with it, it's okay. Christmas may have baked cookies or not. We will see. I might not learn how to play the guitar, but maybe someone else can. My daughter may have K-mart presents or not. I might get to write Christmas cards or not. If joy takes me there, it will happen if not then that's okay too. True memories are created through laughter and connection, and not from what toys you get and what food you eat anyway. The joy is back, let's write this down and put it on the blog. Creating has recommenced!
What becomes evident is that really, Christmas is not about all that stuff. It's not about the cherries, the presents, the food. All we really need for Christmas is our breath.