So it's that time of year where we go out in force with a list like something out of a Santa film for the distant cousin twice removed who has six children and we need to have something in just in case they call down. Murphy's Law it will be the year that you decide that your cutting back and not buy them anything that they will all descend on you?
Exactly how many selection boxes do you buy for the "just in case" visit? How many will you eat?
I'm no different, in fact, I am probably the worst at it. I used to get in an Oxford Lunch cake every year in case my great uncles called in. Then, like a light bulb, I remembered that they were all dead. I had been buying this cake for them and they weren't even alive to enjoy it. Habit ? maybe.
I usually buy 20 small selection boxes for all the neice's and nephew's and cousins children.
However last year, my cousin pointed out that her son had gotten 8 selection boxes, he was 6 months old, no teeth and only starting on solid food? Who ate them, my cousin and her partner, while watching Santa Claus the Movie.
If Christmas was just a 2 day event whereby we over indulged, it would be manageable. It's not, its a month long build up of sweets at work, drinks after work, holly and ivy drinking, meals out, creating those special memories with our children of watching Christmas movies, while eating a selection box with the Christmas lights on.
When I think back to my childhood, I remember, getting new pajamas, Christmas presents and one selection box. I'm sure I got a whole load of them but I don't remember having them, so were they really that important to me?
So why do we use food as the be all and end all? It's to fill a hole. My comfort is sitting in front of the tv eating something indulgent in pajamas. It's where I am safe and peaceful. For the duration of the movie but after that it's gone, I get no satisfaction from it, no sense of achievement and no I don't feel like I am making memories with the kids.
I feel guilt.
This Christmas, things are changing in my house. I have 5 selection boxes in because I have 2 children and 3 neices and nephews.
My brothers who are in their 40's do not need a selection box. For the just in case callers who do have children, I have bought colouring books. Yes, colouring books, I have no idea if they will love them or hate them but for me the problem is not children having them, it's what they leave behind and who eats them.
That would be me.
For my cousins, we now make each other little presents, such as they body scrub I posted. You cant eat it so no extra propoints.
Just because there is a selection box in the house should not equate to us eating it or thinking about it continuously.
If my children get a bike off of Santa, do I daydream of cycling the country while off for the Christmas, not in the slightest, therefore I know my comfort is food and I need to mind myself while all the temptation is floating about.
What is your hole? and how do you fill it? If you know what it is, then you can work on it. If you think that its Christmas and everybody does it, why should you be different? Well, does everyone feel that same way you do when none of your clothes fit?
Get perspective, you will not be known as the Grinch if your gifts are a little different. Will my dead great uncles know that I'm not getting the Oxford Lunch cake in their honor?
Now is the time to get planning and think about what you need. Write your list, stick to it and don't waver to peer pressure of the chocolate.
January wont be so blue or guilty without the excess pudding we can acquire.
Enjoy the Niptuck way, so you don't have to!