Christmas is almost upon us and, to quote a lyric from the ubiquitous Slade song, ‘everybody’s having fun’.
This might, at first glance, appear to be the case . . .
But scratch the surface and look a little deeper – beyond the slick television commercials that are, let’s not forget, designed to persuade us to spend and indulge in order to chase a dream – and the truth is often otherwise.
For some, the forthcoming festive season is not a dream, but a nightmare.
That it seems as though everybody’s having fun does nothing more than compound the anguish for those who don’t consider Christmas to be the most wonderful time of the year.
For a number in our midst, the coming days and weeks are a time of sadness, anxiety, self-reflection and loneliness. There’s so much pressure for it all to be perfect that disappointment and anti-climax are inevitable. Unrealistic expectations, ever-increasing tension, demands impossible to balance, it can all become overwhelming.
Everybody’s having fun? This just isn’t the case . . .
Pressure to go out. To have a good time. To spend big. To have the lot. It’s no surprise that it can all take its toll.
Not everyone has the means. Not everyone has the friends and the families.
Tensions that have been bubbling under the surface for days, weeks, months (and years) can boil over, whilst for others isolation is the issue. Unable to be amongst others, the bereaved reminded and anniversaries uncomfortable, it can be tough to cope. Forever playing in the background, that torturous soundtrack . . .
Everybody’s having fun. Everybody, that is, except YOU (or at least, so it seems).
These posts – and the advice dispensed on each occasion – remain relevant, our reason for returning to the subject that at Christmas, when (allegedly) everybody’s having fun, so great can the pressure become that this is something that can’t be emphasised enough.
Our counsel this time around? Be realistic.
Christmas is a time for giving so this festive season allow YOURSELF some compassion . . .
Don’t expect feelings that are fanciful and/or unrealistic. Don’t expect it all to be perfect. Don’t expect to have it all. Don’t expect troubles to disappear for December.
Take our advice: be open and be honest and, should it ever get to be too much, find someone to talk to.
That Slade song on the radio again? Switch it off and remember, it might almost be Christmas but that doesn’t mean that everybody’s having fun.