Xmas Anxiety = Powerlessness x Uncertainty
I am a control freak, I like to be as organised as possible and I hate surprises. I don't even see value in someone giving me a gift that I didn't know I needed in case it was something that I didn't want or need. Why? Because I can't stand the fact that they would of spent money needlessly and I am left having to feel grateful for the item. Anxiety!
Giving a gift of anxiousness.
I am therefore very interested in not being made to give gifts at xmas time because my receipt of gifts can paralyse me. How can I be authentic in my giving and receiving when I can end up feeling more worthless than when all of this gift giving started.
There is so much meaning that can be made at Xmas time that I am very quick to not be a part of it.
In this heightened time of social media and quick messaging, my anxiety can go into overdrive. How many gifts we have or cards received or other people received or felicitations over social media, enough, not enough...it is enough to drive me mad! (More insane mad than angry mad)
Was this anxiety a by product of my upbringing and the pain of xmas, is my sense of control created because of all of this undercurrent of unspoken rules and obligations that are usually unleashed out of nowhere. Highly likely... who is to have who at xmas, who will be around who at xmas. It can make any kid want to leave off being anywhere around anyone.
Even those secret Santas can make me feel irrelevant. Buy a gift that is non descript, don't care about who you are giving it to. As it could be anyone's gift. I am pretty sure the gifts given to baby Jesus were not just for anyone, they were gifts fit for a king. So why do we put a price on a gift? Because we need to keep it fair or affordable... but the whole point has gone out the window has it not?
We go to social occasions and everyone has to put a gift in the Santa sack for their kid, it is a $10 gift. So to feel a part of this, we have to put a $10 gift in the Santa sack. A worthless gift, something that is not worth giving. Or we put one in that is worth giving, a little bit more and then all the other kids are like, how come they got that gift and mine was not worth as much.
Seriously, there is a lot of thinking and therapy going on at Xmas time and we haven't even got to the day itself. So please be mindful that for you an idea that might seem harmless or something that reduces your anxiety may be increasing someone else's.
This is an incredibly difficult time of year for many and with the financial difficulties that many have experienced this year due to Covid, really have a think about how you are going to operate over xmas that is thoughtful and kind, that really see's and hears everyone's needs.
Really have a think if Christmas traditions at your house need an overhaul that brings your day off or holiday; meaning, value and purpose.
So hold a space for Xmas, don't mitigate it or control it. For at least one day this year, surrender to everything that this space for you could possibly be.