Donegal mum Maria Rushe has a healthy reminder for us all that nobody's Christmas is as picture perfect as we see online.
I LOVE it! I love everything about it.
I love the sparkle, the sounds, the smells, the smiles.
I love the kindness. I love how it brings out the best in so many people.
I love the glitter, the happy and the magic…
But what I don’t love, is the pressure placed on us by the interweb to create magical, Christmas card worthy Hallmark moments.
It’s started already; Instagranny and Bookface are full of pictures of beautiful trees and perfect living rooms. None of us posted the mess of them being put up though did we!?
Myself included. Of course not. We want to show the world our best smile don’t we? We want to give the general idea that we’ve got our sh*t together inside our own four walls.
And this year, not being able to visit our friends and families has led to more people sharing their images online.
Any newsfeed is filled with festive fun; trees going up, garlands being made, fancy glasses with tipples by the fire, smiles and joy. Houses now seem to be “themed”, and showhouse worthy.
It’s rather cool to look at in fairness and isn’t it wonderful how we can share ideas and get inspiration simply by watching other people’s posts?
And it’s lovely for us to see inside the four walls of the cousins or friends who we know we probably won’t be able to visit this year.
The selfies from Christmas shopping trips have been largely replaced by snaps of boxes and packages arriving on doorsteps, accompanied by hashtags joking about the #postmanismybestfriend or #cantrememberwhatIordered.
The staff parties and large get-togethers are whittled down.
It’s all pretty different isn’t it?
And yet, what stays the same is that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.
Maybe you have one tree that is still in the attic and will stay there until the 20th? That’s OK.
Maybe you have two different trees with a mishmash of colours and decorations as old as you? Fablis.
Maybe you’re quite happy to leave the tree as it is after the kids have decorated it and it warms your heart to see all of the decorations around the bottom. Class.
Maybe you let them at the tree, but absolutely fix the whole thing after they’ve gone to bed? You are my people Mammas.
Maybe you don’t give a hoot if your decorations are multicoloured and not in any way planned. That’s brilliant!
Maybe you prefer to put the tree up yourself rather than creating an illusion of family fecking JOY. Go for it.
Maybe you don’t see the point in matching Pjs. Don’t buy them.
Maybe you hate turkey. Don’t buy turkey.
Maybe you don’t like mulled wine…or the smell of cinnamon? Don’t buy those candles.
Maybe you don’t wrap every single present… once again, my people.
Maybe you don’t get professional photos done. There is no law in fairness.
Maybe you can’t face going to see a Santa this year. Your call Mammy. Your call.
Maybe you are devastated that you can’t see certain people this Christmas. We all are.
Maybe you are quietly NOT devastated to not see certain people…that’s OK too!
Maybe Christmas is grating on your nerves and you can’t even begin to process it because of your own personal circumstances. To you, beautiful Queen, I send all my love.
If this year has taught us anything, it is that what happens outside our four walls (or outside of our own bubble), really does not matter.
Christmas will happen, whether it’s quiet and understated, or extravagant and instaperfect.
On the 25th, we’ll wake up. We’ll do what we need to do and then on the 26th, we’ll get on with it again.
I adore Christmas. I love it. I’m missing some things and some people this year. We all are.
I’m looking forward to closing the doors of my own messy four walls and to spending some much needed down time with my own people…
But I’m very very aware that it’s not the same for us all. Especially this year.
Remember that what you see online is contrived. It is not always real. In fact, even the most “real” people that you follow, CHOOSE what to show you.
If you find yourself doubting your choices, or second guessing your Christmas, or feeling poop about yourself, do yourself a favour.
Hit mute or unfollow.
Don’t watch people who make you feel second, or less.
Your Christmas will be what you make it. And what happens within the four walls of other people, doesn’t matter one iota.