Now the Christmas party's over, we've been reflecting on where we went wrong during the festive season, and the lessons we've learned...
We’re almost into the New Year and the dust has started to settle a little. But who else is already suffering from post-festive season fatigue? Whether we stayed put in Singapore or travelled overseas for our Christmas celebrations, there were definitely some life lessons learned along the way…
Lessons learned after the Christmas holidays
1. We have enough stuff
We all love giving children presents. But we can experience that same joy with a hell of a lot less stuff. I’m revealing my age here, but I still remember the Punky Brewster doll I had when I was six. I remember it because it was just one major present from my folks at Christmas, and it was pretty darn special. If the frenzied present-opening rituals I saw this year are anything to go by, I doubt kids will remember much of their haul in 30 years’ time…
2. If you’re staying with family, know your limits
You want to make it brief enough so that you enjoy each other’s company, but not so long that you’re seconds away from throttling somebody (or being throttled). This one’s not just for Christmas: it’s also valid for when the grandparents come and stay at your place at any time of the year!
3. It just ain’t Christmas without a family feud
Some families are more high-functioning than others, and life would be dull without a few fireworks. What’s important is that you still love each other at the end of the day. And don’t forget, you have the pleasure of walking away from each other at the end of the day too!
4. Make an effort
Family gatherings can be fraught, but everyone needs to step up a little and be the best version of themselves for a shot at a really good Christmas shebang. Talk to the relatives you don’t know very well – they might surprise you! Give that cousin who was a real jerk to you at the last family reunion a clean slate – people change.
5. Don’t get sucked into the double-whammy celebration
This is a tricky one with in-laws and blended families all jostling for face time. But attempting more than one ‘do in one day will only lead to tears. Yours and the kids’. Your clan might have to come to an agreement to stagger the gatherings over different days (especially since we can only meet in groups of five at the mo) but if it’s all too much, know when to bow out.
6. Screw tradition
Let’s be honest: nobody really likes turkey. It’s a dry bird. Order a platter of plump prawns, have a chilled-out barbecue, say no to the mince pies (because nobody really likes those either) and do whatever suits you for your next family feast.
7. Make ‘life goals’
And as for those New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s rebrand them as life goals. Because change isn’t going to happen in one big moment. Just be kind to yourself and keep on going.
Oh, and you might want to bookmark these life lessons if you’re about to go for round two with Chinese New Year on the horizon!