Learning to Love Christmas
The other day I saw a story on the internet and it made me think about Christmas. The story is one about a gardener who was getting frustrated with garden weeds. It goes like this:
A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to get rid of them. Still they plagued him. Finally he wrote to the Department of Agriculture. He enumerated all the things he had tried and closed his letter with the question: “What shall I do now?” In due course, the reply came: “We suggest you learn to love them.”
What Have Dandelions Got to do With Christmas?
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard lots of people start to bemoan the onset of Christmas. It seems that many of us find something to complain about; whether it’s the commercialisation of Christmas or the frustration of shopping.
Every year, time seems to speed up as we head towards December 25th. There’s seems to be a tailspin of panic with the inevitable rush of present buying, cooking, family and friends. However, it doesn’t matter how much the festive season frustrates you, like dandelions, Christmas, with all its trimmings is unavoidable.
You can approach Christmas like the man with the dandelions and become frustrated; or you can take the advice and learn to love it – but how can you learn to love it?
Learning to Love Christmas
The best way to learn to love Christmas is to start to see things differently. The best way to do this is to ‘begin with the end in mind’. What do I mean by this? The first step is to think what you’d really like from Christmas. So rather than get caught up in the stress and busy-ness ask yourself, “If I were to look back on Christmas what would have happened for me to have really enjoyed it?” When we take a bit of time to really think it through it becomes easy.
Begin With the End in Mind
When you ‘begin with the end in mind’ you start to realise that it’s some of the more simple things that make you happy. For example this Christmas with my family, I want fun, relaxation and connection. In order for me to achieve fun, relaxation and connection I might have to forgo some of my usual expectations around a perfect Christmas.
Enjoy a Really Special Christmas
When you concentrate on what you really want out of Christmas then it becomes very enjoyable. If you endure some crisis, like the dog eating the turkey or the fridge breaking down you have a choice about whether you get upset or not. In other words you can either get stressed, or you can ask yourself, “If I want fun, relaxation and connection how would I react?” This simple exercise is very powerful and works well. It will take the sting out of situations that threaten to overwhelm you and help you to focus on what is really important in life. I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.