Social media has allowed us to see into other people’s Christmas days -- the presents, food, and people watching movies on the sofa with a fire roaring in the background. It’s so easy to get caught up in the competitive world that social media has created. I think, to some extent, we have created a version of reality that nobody can truly live up to. On Christmas day, no doubt you’ll see photos with filters, videos of presents being opened, and a picture montage of a five-course dinner being served that has been edited. And maybe you’ll compare your day to what you see. You might start to feel anxious that your Christmas day isn’t as good: you compare your food to that of a stranger on social media, or the presents you bought for others may not seem as good.
The internet has made us believe that these holidays have to be bigger and better than the one before. It’s just not possible. Chances are, the photos you see on social media do not reflect what is actually happening - you don’t see behind the scenes. You don’t need to be in competition with people you don’t know - in fact, you don’t need to be in competition with anyone, whether you know them or not.
It’s also important to note that there’s no one way to do Christmas; it’s okay if things look different each year. Sometimes our health plays a part – maybe the thought of Christmas is too overwhelming so you just want a quiet, cosy day, or physically you aren’t feeling very well and don’t fancy a Christmas dinner. That’s okay. Maybe finances were tough this year and you couldn’t afford to spend much on presents. That’s okay. You had to prioritise other needs – food, healthcare, bills, whatever it may be - above presents. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You don’t need to feel bad. The reality is we have to make these special moments how we need them to be. We need them to be within the budgets we have for our individual circumstances. We need them to be as quiet (or as loud) as we require at this moment.
However you choose to spend the holidays, spend it knowing it’s the version you need to make life easier in the moment, or perhaps a little later down the line. Make Christmas how you want and need Christmas to be. Not for anyone else.
Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!