Wednesday, December 19, 2018

"HELP! Am I ruining Christmas?"


A friend of mine sent me a note, with a suggestion I talk about this here because it’s such a common problem.

"HELP! Am I ruining Christmas?"
"HELP! Am I ruining Christmas?"

Ellen,

I have always spent every holiday with my family. This year, I’m not going back for Christmas.

I’ve run out of leave and so I can’t take any extra days. Also, work has been hell and I’m just exhausted.

Instead of flying home, I’m staying in town and driving twenty minutes to my fiancée’s family for a quiet dinner.

Mum said she understands but I have this awful guilty feeling. Am I ruining Christmas?


Okay, you know your circumstances are dictating a very sensible decision and your mum agrees, so where’s the guilt coming from?

I suspect that this is a stress reaction inspired by change. You’ve always gone home and now you’re not. That’s a little unsettling. Also, you’re tired and that tends to lead to gloomy thoughts where you perceive things in the most negative way possible.

I think you need to step back and look at the big picture. Before this, you were a single lady and going home was natural. Now you’re engaged, your life’s changing. This is the start of the holiday juggle; the bit where you and your future husband will plan to see both your families over the year’s holidays.

I think a chat with mum, something along the lines of, “I’ll be getting married soon, and I’m dreading having to parcel out our holiday time” will help. She had to do the same and can probably give you some sensible advice. Communicate openly, and you’ll feel a lot better.

Also, do consider that Chinese New Year is coming up in six weeks time and that both Wesak and Gawai fall over a long weekends as well. So, there are plenty of holidays coming up. 

Merry Christmas!