Christmas is done. Yeah. I have a problem with Christmas. I sort of figured out what it was this year.
At Christmas time I feel judged and wanting.
1. My cooking. It is not good or plentiful enough. I feel obligated to bake and take confections to one and all. It takes me several batches of bread, cookies or candy to get an acceptable one to give as a gift. So I end up tired and frustrated, with a gob of rejects I then feel obligated to eat since I spent money and time on them.
2. My correspondence. I know and love a bunch of folks. I feel obligated to send a card to everyone with a personal note attached. I hate to correspond. I feel guilty for hating to correspond. I put off doing the cards until the last minute so I stress about them the whole season. I finally do them in one mad rush and end up tired and frustrated.
3. Gifts. I hate buying gifts. They cost money we don't have and I go into debt to purchase them. I never know what to get. I always feel like I have made a mistake with the gift or feel guilty for not sending one. Since I do not want to buy the gifts I put off purchasing them and add to the mad rush at the end. Frequently the gifts are late which shames me.
4. Decorating the house. First I have to clean everything. Baseboards, curtains, the lot. The cleaning takes days. Days I am also trying to cook, shop, correspond and entertain. When I get the cleaning done then we go get a tree and that whole process gets started. I do not enjoy decorating the tree. I feel guilty about this. I add decorations to our small house to make it festive. Except to me it does not look festive. I looks cluttered up with red and green stuff.
5. Entertaining. See 1 and 4. I about kill myself getting the food and the house perfect. By the time the guests arrive I hate them and can't wait for them to leave. I feel guilty about this also.
6. Parties. I do not fit into my good clothes. I feel fat, and panicked about the comparisons to the other thin women. Small talk wears me out even though I am good at it. I feel like I am on stage in tight clothing and uncomfortable shoes.
7. Food. OMG. Why do we make and serve so much food at Christmas. I am living on Gas-x and Rolaids. I can't not eat it, and feel bad about myself continually.
8. Christmas Cheer. I am angry and sad at this time of the year and am expected to smile all the time. I feel guilty because I resent it, the smiling.
9. Church. Gad. By the time we have a potluck to, decorate the church, wrap presents for the needy, celebrate the church's Christmas party, deliver presents and food to the needy, rehearse the Christmas play, celebrate the Choir Christmas party, go carolling, have the Sunday School class party, have the Christmas pageant, have the Christmas eve service and have the Christmas day service, I am about potlucked out. We still have to have another one to go to take down the decorations. See number 1. I feel really bad about not enjoying all of these opportunities to serve God.
10. Faith. I feel wanting because I gripe about Christmas. I should enjoy it. It is my Lord's Birthday.
What I learned. My low self-esteem and compensating perfectionism ruin Christmas for me. Until I have a better opinion of myself I need to keep Christmas simple. Next year by golly I am going to enjoy Christmas.
Happy New Year. Lynn