The most wonderful time of the year, apparently. I grew up loving Christmas and now every year I dread it. I definitely have Christmas Anxiety.
It’s self-diagnosed, of course. I can’t imagine spending time in a doctor’s surgery to discuss the issue only to be told that I’m in the tiny percentage of people that dislike Christmas.
It definitely feels real, though.
Growing up, I used to have great Christmases. My mum used to spoil me rotten, December was always really festive and I used to practically count down the days from October onwards.
Now, I get worried and stressed about it all.
No matter how hard I try, I can never recreate the great Christmases that I had as a child.
I feel like I spend an absolute fortune on the kids every year, but every year without fail I look at the pile of presents and there seems to be next to nothing there.
It’s the same again this year.
If I’m looking on the positive side, there are fewer presents to wrap, but the reality is that - even though I think I’ve picked decent gifts - I feel like I’ve failed at the whole Christmas thing.
That’s not a sleight at the kids by the way. I think that every single year the kids have been happy with what they’ve received (both from me and from Santa) and haven’t moaned once.
I try to compensate for my own perceived poor Christmas showing by spending more on them on their birthdays, but that doesn’t stop the horrible feeling at this time of year that I’m letting people down.
I’ve often wondered if it’s a seasonal thing. I’ve blogged in the past about the Winter Solstice being the best day of the year.
Of course, it doesn’t help that everywhere is full of Christmas stuff, and has been for weeks. It’s another bugbear of mine. Quite why we need to mention yuletide before December is beyond me, but when the High Street shows signs of it in September, I can feel the knot start to build in my stomach.
Every year I do my best to keep my head down and avoid talk of Christmas, as I know that having conversations about it stresses me out. But that’s not “normal”, as everyone naturally chooses that as a main topic of conversation, so I can’t avoid it.
I actively choose not to put up decorations at home for pretty much the same reason. Plus the kids don’t live with me, and I work so much that I’m rarely at home anyway.
But here we are, two days before the big day, and I’m worried. Worried that I haven’t done enough, worried that I’m letting the kids down (again?). Worried about everything.
I know it’s unreasonable to beat myself over it, but knowing that doesn’t help.
As for my plans this year, I have the kids from tonight through to Christmas Day. On Christmas morning we will go and visit my mum and spend the morning there, then I’ll drop the kids home to their mum before heading back to spend the afternoon with my mum.
On Boxing Day I’ve been invited to spend the day with Tasha and her family, but in a fit of anxiety a day or two ago I cancelled that and now plan to either work, stay at home on my own or drive to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Whatever happens, I plan to drive up North to spend some time with Mrs DannyUK before the New Year.
After that, 2017 starts and I can put the Christmas anxiety behind me for a few more months.
Please tell me that I’m not alone in feeling this way year after year?