Oh, you happy, conflicted Christmas season. The uncle comes late to Christmas dinner like every year, the mother is stressed because she once again made all the preparations herself and in the end the roast burned in the oven! Most people want the perfect tree for Christmas, the perfect gift - just a perfect celebration. But the reality looks more like an episode of the cult series “A Heart and a Soul”. And once you get home, there's no quick escape from the act. Of course, it's great to argue with your parents about the distribution of tasks or even start a debate about veganism at the dinner table. But no one will be happy. What helps? At least it can't hurt to have these seven virtues with you!
In addition to the usual chaos before the holidays, Hurricane Zoltan now thinks he can have a say in travel planning. Whether it's weather, people on the track, an accident - on the way to the family, many unforeseen events can make the journey drag on like chewing gum. Only one thing helps: patience! If you get upset about the almost (predictable) delay of the train and look at your cell phone screen every five seconds, you won't get to your destination any faster. On the other hand, if you assume that you cannot change the situation, you can avoid unnecessary stress and inner unrest. We can pass the time by singing “Driving Home for Christmas” like Chris Rea – or maybe just listen to it on the train…
Grandma asks for the hundredth time when the wedding bells will finally ring, the aunt complains about the roast, her own mother makes a face like seven days of rainy weather when she opens the present and the uncle belts out one regulars' table slogan after the next. Admittedly, that doesn't sound like a peaceful Christmas. But with which family is this the case? In such a situation, it is of little help to make the situation explode with subtle comments. Better: be lenient. It takes a lot of empathy, respect and patience to empathize with other people's circumstances. Of course, you don't have to throw all your values overboard straight away. It's about looking at others with understanding. If you remain calm and forgiving, you can resolve conflicts and even strengthen relationships.
There are many people without whom our Christmas would not be possible: the numerous parcel couriers who carry parcels to our houses on a piecemeal basis, the cashiers who scan our holiday shopping on December 24th or the train staff who come to us brings our goal. Because of the stress surrounding the holidays, some people can't bring themselves to smile while shopping, or they bark at the conductor out of sheer anger about the late train. Instead of spreading a bad mood with the corners of your mouth pulled down, a little bit of friendliness helps. Because when we do something for others, it helps us to be less stressed - at least that's the opinion of almost all participants in a survey by the American Psychiatric Association.
When things come together that don't necessarily have to come together, and you suddenly have to sit at the table again with people you don't really like but are supposed to love, then it's probably Christmas. Family celebrations are such that people sometimes appear that you would otherwise prefer to avoid. False expectations, prejudices and nasty sayings included. Anyone who is already thinking about how to avoid biting their tongue all the time or how to destroy the contemplative mood with a snappy answer - forbid - is advised to use humor. As black as possible. Gallows humor also helps. Anyone who parries with a wink, charm and confidence does not provide a target for those who work on others in order to distract from themselves - they only make a joke of themselves.
There's no other time of year when overeating is as socially obligatory as Christmas. On the feast days, it is set, there will be a meal. While on Christmas Eve there is still modest sausage and potato salad, meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day turn into a Roman feast. Nothing against a bit of decadence, a glass of champagne here, a salmon slice there, but do we really have to stuff ourselves so unrestrainedly until the button of our pants can no longer withstand the swelling stomach and the subsequent digestive walk is more like a digestive drag? Is that still enjoyable? A little moderation is good for the body, so you don't have to jog off any holiday pounds in January.
Breakfast at Grandma's, then we go to great aunt's in the neighboring town for lunch, in the evening we give presents to the closest family and then we toast with old school friends. It is not uncommon for people to celebrate until late at night that this Jesus brings us together once a year. And the next day the whole thing starts all over again: eating, changing locations, eating, changing locations, drinking. Yes, the oh-so-contemplative Christmas season is more of a gauntlet for some people. Especially those who rarely return home often have a full calendar to accommodate everyone. If you're facing a Christmas like this, only one thing will help you in the end: perseverance. It's like this: You've already completed this marathon once (for example, about exactly a year ago). So instead of letting yourself be stressed by the sheer volume of upcoming visits to Hinz and Kunz, you can just concentrate on the next appointment - and look forward to it.
Our relationship with Christmas is ambivalent to say the least, you could say it's complicated. There are those who are already singing Christmas carols at the beginning of November, throwing fairy lights on the wall and can hardly wait for the contemplative Christmas season to begin. Others, on the other hand, could happily forego celebrating the fat man in the red robe for a few days a year. Any Christmas hustle and bustle is too much of a good thing for them. Who has the better Christmas time? The one who approaches the matter confidently. And don't worry, that doesn't mean you should rush out and put up that gorgeous Christmas tree or join a Christmas choir - it just means that it can help you make the most of the holiday season. This can be the classic family celebration, but it can also mean that you make yourself comfortable in front of the TV and just stay at home. With a little confidence it will be a good time. With that in mind: Merry Christmas!