It’s started. The Christmas lights are up, the shops are full of mince pies and the battle is on to make the most sentimental advert.
Of course it’s exciting (especially if you’re three), but the build-up, the indulgences and the high expectations can give our mental wellbeing a bit of a knock.
There’s a scene in the Royle Family, where after messing up the Christmas dinner Denise breaks down in tears, crying “I just want a Christmas like Nigella”. I remember watching that and laughing and then realising that I was actually crying too. Of course we’ll be disappointed if we have such high expectations. I bet even Nigella doesn’t even have a Christmas like Nigella.
When it comes down to it, a merry Christmas isn’t about making a perfect homemade gingerbread house, or finding the elusive must-have toy. Real Christmases don’t look like adverts and real dinners don’t look like the pages of celebrity chefs’ books. But they’re better for it. Deep down, we know this. We just need to be reminded.
So, this December, we’re asking you. What really makes you feel better at this time of year?
– Does your family have any funny Christmas traditions that look nothing like the adverts?
– Would you rather watch Home Alone every day of December than go to a single spangly party?
– Are you trying to negotiate alcohol-free partying for your first sober Christmas?
– Is there a comfort food that makes you feel great on a dark night?
– Or are you shunning the whole thing in true humbug style?
Whatever you’ll eat or drink, or not, and however merry you feel, let us know what makes you feel better at this time of year. We’d love to hear your stories. You can submit a guest post or tweet us with your ideas @mindwaves1