Letter to Christmas Expectations

Xmas Anticipation

Dear Friend

Tan tar a!  Tan tan tar a..! An expectant fanfare announces that the big day is nearly here…

So Christmas is a-coming and with it our expectations – conscious or unconscious – are building… Building and growing – waiting to peak in a day of cosy rosy picture postcard family lugubriousness, or growing like mushrooms in our unlit subconscious, silently waiting for a glory day of mirth and merriment, or a gory day of festive misery…

And yuletide logs are thrown onto the fire of our expectations by the retail world – assaulted as we are with adverts and offers and reminders and jingles from (at least) November onwards… Gah! – I loathe doing Christmas too soon! I want my expectation to build slowly and in due order and in MY Christmas book – that cannot happen at least until mid December…

Then I shall stoke my own festive fire thank you and will dust off the Christmas music and journey into the loft to liberate the decorations.  Then I will doff the Santa hat (pink of course) and the angel earrings.  Then I will eat mince pies, drink mulled wine and strange spirits (like port and advocaat) so my taste buds will know that there will be a blow out of huge calorific proportions to come.  That there will be one day and one day alone when I shall eat Christmas pudding (don’t like it that much, so once is enough thank you very much).  And, there is a countdown so that the very same taste buds can’t wait to partake of a foodie feasting day and my greed will dictate that my stomach can anticipate stretched and loaded fullness yet again.

For many, it will simply be ‘another day’, for Christmas nay sayers and don’t carers and people of other cultures and beliefs.  For shift workers – it can be the same old same old, or else the addition of Santa hat and a mince pie, along with Yuletide bonhomie will tincture it differently and either make it harder (to make the effort to be there) or lighter and easier because you are there in full Christmas swing.  And always – know it or not, there will be expectation…

This is an expectation built on millennia of anticipation – a Christian celebration of the birth of a saviour; of more recent culture and custom demanding that we eat, drink, party and give gifts.  Ah – the anticipation of gifts, even for the adult… a sense of jumping back into childhood – waiting for Father Christmas – to unwrap and reveal treasures intended for us, for those things we childishly craved… that moment of feeling the parcel, of rattling it and weighing it up – guessing what lies within.  The joy of recognition (I got what I wanted) or surprise (an unexpected and cherished gift).

So if as adults, we experience a certain neutrality around receiving and unwrapping – is that born out of the fact that we have done this so many times in our lives; or that we insulate ourselves against the disappointments of more socks and bath cubes; or that some one some where buys us stuff and doesn’t know or care what is that we really want or that would really deliciously please us???

And the expectation is a commercialisation too of our sensibilities – that we should be connected families, that we should be jolly and merry and bright; that Christmas is a day of love and light… That the normal rules do not apply and every one will ‘behave’ and be happy.  So if Christmas is instead a day of shade and shadow – darkened by our heightened expectations, worn out by toil and tears, somehow the weight is more.  The gathering clouds of subconscious script spew forth acid rain on our brains and in our hearts.  This should be perfect day is angry, is dull, is lacking and is more so, because of a set of failed expectations, all balled up into one calendar day…

And I know those whose expectations lead them to loathe Christmas – they had bad Christmases past, where someone died or got divorced or beaten or forgotten or what ever bombshell sticks in the brain, this being glued to Christmas, to trigger off more bad memories and the anticipation of dread and repetition.

Yet these happenings are not Christmas, they may have been magnified by the expectation – an opposition of Christmas joys, yet they really are separate.

We can all choose our Christmas, in that it is after all, as well as a communal holiday – a state of mind.  Even better when it becomes a matter of heart, or heart over matter.  Let’s create our own Christmas – where we take the opportunity to kick back, relax, connect and hyperlink to the best parts of our childhood, or what ever way would be the best way for us to celebrate and cherish and relish what we have; feeding from the positive energy that so many are contributing into and not buying into anticipated angst.

Consciously create your very own positive expectations… feel Christmas coming like a tingle, a simple gorgeous shiver… and enjoy this moment… this reality now – shaped by what is to come – but not making it all dependent on then.  And if this is a burden, then simply think about the feelings you would choose to have and that will start to raise the dark curtains of impending doubt, rather than focussing on them…

So Christmas is all about expectation – we wait a full year for it after all, and having waited, let’s make the most of it and not fall into the least of it.

I expect Christmas will be what it will be after all, and I’ll choose Choicemas instead of Crisismas any day.

With love, as always


PS: To admit to a Christmas Cliché – the published book version of these Peachey Letters makes a perfect present ALL year round…  See these letters together with new material, to show you just how Peachy life can be.  You can get yours from my website and also from Amazon in either paperback or Kindle… or from any good book website from around the world…

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