I have had forbidden thoughts… Because lately I have felt like Christmas is not very interesting any more. I felt like I couldn’t get into any kind of Christmas joyful mood. And without kids, what’s the point? It’s super dark outside, and if we get snow it melts straight away and creates iced streets or gray water that leaks in and makes soggy socks. It’s just not the kind of weather or time of year I enjoy the most, you know?
You are never so lost that your angels cannot find you.
Jeff Rees Jones
Also, I am not over the moon in love with our regular Christmas food, I don’t like to drink julmust and I am not a fan of gift hunting. And cutting down innocent trees and slowly watch them die? No thanks.
And I know I’m not alone. I saw someone posting similar sinful thoughts in a Facebook group I’m in here in Sweden recently. They were saying that they wished we could just skip the whole thing of Christmas altogether. But instead of being called out for Christmas Blasphemy or being too negative, she was acknowledged and sent hugs and support.
A lot of other people in the group joined in on the idea, with different feelings of Christmas Blues. It could be overwhelm, discomfort for not Loving the Holidays enough, or simply not wanting to decorate their homes at all! Some wanted to hide until it was all over, others had already created their own version of what felt more comfortable for them.
Maybe the unspeakable Christmas Blues is more common than we think?
I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards, and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed. Charlie Brown
For some I think the whole idea of having to be happy and cheerful on a specific week or day feels strange and totally foreign. Like: Nobody tells me what to do or what to feel, right? And at times I know for a fact that celebrating when you’re not feeling it is super hard. It can make life feel even more depressing than it did before. Others have had bad experiences as kids with holidays gone bad, presents never bought, or homes where the holidays has gone overboard in one direction or other. And it is totally okay to skip it all, if that’s what you need to feel calm and at peace with yourself.
To me, though, I think it’s just a case of being tired and not feeling like I wanted to get into it this year again. We’re talking about giving less gifts, eating less holiday food, and downsizing the whole thing. A minimalistic celebration? And perhaps that is a good thing after all. More people should try it.
Anyway, I did find a solution for myself this year! A little trick that made me feel happy and more positive towards Christmas again, and that’s what I wanted to write about today. How to turn Christmas around and make it cheerful and something to look forward to this year and next year.
How to (maybe) cure the Christmas Blues
Christmas is like a little light in the dark, cold Swedish winter. I should embrace it better, and this year I started to do so as soon as I sat down with my Christmas papers. My initial plan was just to make Yummy Christmas Paper Kits to sell, to de-stash collected imagery, wrapping paper and other Christmas ephemera. They were very popular last year, and I love sharing my collection of goodies. As I made little piles for the kits, I realized I could create a Christmas Journal as well… Because, why not? I had enough papers for it. As soon as I started, I felt the tingling of the Christmas Spirit inside my heart. I made three journals to sell in my Etsy Shop, and then one for myself too of course, because… why not?
I really enjoy making Traveler’s Notebook style inserts, and book making is always enjoyable to me. But it wasn’t until I started to fill my own Christmas Journal that I was reminded of so many good things. A spark was lit.
I was not only reminded of my never ending love of notebooks and journaling, but of how lovely this time of year can be. I guess in a way, my spirit was lifted, because I didn’t feel so Christmas Blue anymore. I doubt I’m totally cured, but at least I could see through the patterned papers and the cute snow flake images, how lovely it can be.
Maybe the solution, at least for me, would be to just embrace the whole thing through papers, washi tape, cute images, glitter tape, stickers and tags? By journaling my way to the feeling, instead of waiting to feel it so I can journal it then?
Note to self: What to do to feel better
Here’s the to-do-list that fixed me up this year:
- Make a cup of hot coffee
- Turn on a Christmas play list on Spotify (preferable one with new songs instead of the ones I’ve heard a gazillion times before)
- Light a tea candle or two, cozy down
- Grab a Traveler’s Notebook, a glue stick and some Christmas imagery and start to fill the pages
- Make a page, a spread or several spreads every day (or when you can manage), and Christmassy Feelings will start jumping at you from every direction – at least that’s my experience.
I would love to know your thoughts about the upcoming holiday. Does it always find you “in the right mood”, or do you too have tips and tricks on how to get into it (if that’s what you want to do)? You don’t have to fix anything if you want to ignore the whole thing.
I’m pro choice, how ever it looks for you right now. And next year you might make another choice, or do something in a different way. What ever you do, I hope you find some inner peace and calm. And remember, journaling, cutting and pasting or simply filling a notebook with doodles – always help.
My way might not be your solution, but I hope it will inspire you to give it a try.
BTW: Journal one in the video I posted yesterday is sold, but (Christmas journal 2 is still in the shop, as well as Christmas journal 3 - go get them while they’re still there and start journaling ASAP.
December is full of the beauty of Light and love we can bring into our life.You can chose to be stressed or you can choose to let the small stuff go and be peaceful this Holiday season.
It really is a choice you make.
Yeah, so I am thinking about Christmas and Memory Keeping and Journaling today, and this post is mainly a Note To Self: Things I need to remember next year when December is coming up again, because probably I’ll feel the Christmas Blues again next year in November…
If it helped you in any way, consider leaving me a comment below. Take care.
Thank you for being open about this, Hanna! I think your idea of starting a art project to get you into the holiday spirit is also applicable year round. I find if Im not excited about a certain time of year, certain event, or certain project (especially when I have been in the past), its that step of starting that is most difficult. Once Ive started, I rarely want to stop. This is true for me when I think about decorating for Christmas, as well. It seems like such a lot of work before I start and I can come up with all sorts of excuses why this year, perhaps I shouldnt bother. But once I start, and especially when Im done decorating, its so worth it and I feel so happy! Next time I am not feeling as excited about an event as I expected (often due to my anxiety), I will try your suggestion of creating an art project relating to that event. Thank you for your honesty and suggestion of what worked in your experience! I hope you have a truly merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Thanks Arielle, I so agree with you and it should be my mantra for next year: Just start and see if that “starting” doesn’t inspire you to keep going? It’s when we sit and think to much that overwhelmed takes over and keeps us lethargic and too tired to start.
Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family too!
I just read this about an hour ago — I love it, and even though I need to “tend to my knitting” (literally!) I stopped for a bit and started planning and snipping for a few pages. My car’s laid up and we got a bunch of snow I have to shovel, and someone’s mittens may show up for New Year’s, but your reminder and idea have pulled me more into something sweeter and warmer again. I decided on an accordion sort of book, because I can keep adding pages (or stop) and it will feel finished without blank pages nagging at me. Because I am already nagging at me too much!
Oh thank you Lorinda, I’m so glad my writing could inspire you into action and finding stillness within for a while. I too have lots of inner nagging, but my journals are my safe place, no Inner Critic present when I work in them. Also, knitting is awesome too, for relaxing, I hope you get back to it too.
Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and yours.
I used to NOT celebrate Christmas at all and I found that time of year annoying (not depressing, just annoying…) but then, in 1999, an event on the radio appeared and it’s been there every year eversince… it’s the broadcast of the Top 2000. 2000 songs, the choice of the listeners, are played all week day and night starting on Christmas day until New Year’s eve. In 2009 I decided to create something with a song from the list every day and a lot of my blogreaders joined in. Since then, Christmas is all about creating to the music and hosting my ‘blogparty’, this year it will be the 9th year I do that and Christmas has never been more ‘celebrating’ and fun, I never had those ‘christmas blues’ again
Thanks for sharing that you too have had No Christmas Feelings in the past. I’m not a music person myself, but I have noticed I have some songs that really change my mood. My Spotify list “Happy Mood” just has songs that makes me wanna dance (or create), so it’s perfect for the studio. Or right now, Christmas music, it’s so cheerful and happy, and perfect for gluing down rain deers and pink Santas…
The Christmas season has always been tough for me . . . I am not sure why. Christmas music helps . . . watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” . . . and sitting alone at night with the tree lit and just enjoying the quiet. I always find a way through the holidays, but some years are a struggle. I am blessed this year to have my mother visiting for the holidays. This is only the third time I have spent Christmas with her in 36 years . . . she has inspired me to pull out some of her old cookie recipes . . . something I don’t always take time to do anymore.
Making things always helps . . . this year I got the last minute idea to decorate our tree with pom poms, God’s eyes, and paper cranes. It was easy, fun, kid friendly (since I have small grandchildren) . . . and something that makes me happy this holiday season.
I like the idea of a Christmas journal . . .
I think a lot more people struggle with Christmas than we realize, but that is fine too, and like you write, we find a way through the holidays, in our own way. You seam to have great ways to find calm and quite in the midst of it all, and having a mother that’s visiting is truly a blessing. I wish you a happy holiday season, with your pom-pom making and all!
I too struggle with this time of year solely from the stress of my teaching job. I find I don’t care about putting up a tree or decorations and I struggle to get my Christmas cards in the mail. I recently purchased a travelers notebook (thanks to you) and think I will try my hand at making a Christmas insert for it and joining you with a cup of coffee, glue stick and Christmas imagery.
Thank you for this much needed post. I needed to hear that I’m not the only one struggling with holiday cheer.
Diane, you’re definitely not the only one struggling. We all have struggles of our own. I think everyone has them, even the youtubers I watch for vlogmas that are showing their big houses decorated to the teeth, but maybe they’d rather keep the struggles more hidden. Both is okay and fine, and we will find a way through it all. I hope you enjoy working in your Traveler’s Notebook. Maybe you’ll find more inspiration in my latest YouTube video where I show a little bit more of my Christmas Journal…
The holidays stress me out. My chronic fatigue syndrome prevents me from shopping for gifts. I didn’t finish shopping until December 19th this year! But some years I just cannot buy gifts for everyone. On the plus side, I get to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins.
As I get older I find the current season blends with memories of past seasons. Its bittersweet for me, since relationships change, and people who were at the heart of my childhood Christmas have died.
This year I am planning an altered book memoir. You have inspired me to put things aside for the Christmas part this month! Thank you.