Coping with Christmas & Family Gatherings (1)

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. Wonderful because it’s a time for catching up with family and friends. It’s also a “wonderful” time because we often “wonder” how on earth we are going to get through it.

Sadly, Christmas can be the unhappiest time of the year for many people – either through family troubles coming to a head as members meet for the big day, or through the despair of having no family at all, and feeling desperately lonely. As much happiness as Christmas can bring, it is also a time of great stress, and this is reflected in the high rate of domestic violence, admission to clinics, and unfortunately, suicide. Christmas means many things to many people, but whatever your opinion of it, it has an enormous impact on our lives.

If your Christmas is traditionally one of unhappiness and stress, take some time out now to realize you are not alone. Check these out:

"It will be a traditional Christmas, with presents, crackers, door slamming, and people bursting into tears…” Victoria Wood

Back in the 1800s, Charles Dickens wrote:

"Every idiot who goes about with Merry Christmas on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.”

Even one from a famous cartoon character:

"I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?"
Charlie Brown

And one from the famous Irish comedian Hal Roach:

"That magical time of year when all your money disappears.”

But perhaps Jenny Abrams sums it up best:

"Christmas— or as Sky TV calls it, When Relatives Attack!”

So, how do we best cope with this potentially stressful time of year?

Christmas can be far from what it is meant to be—a time of peace and goodwill to all men. How can we survive it, and even have some fun while we are doing it?

Next blog, we will look at coping strategies for the Big Day.

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