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Last week we raised the question of what does Christmas mean to you and the idea that we each have values associated with Christmas.

Model mobile phone showing Christmas message of goodwill to all

A Christmas display from Maldon (July 2015) featuring a message of goodwill to all

Those values are what can make us have a miserable Christmas if they are not met – many of us feel that Christmas is a terrible time to be alone because we value family and relationships at Christmas time and others couldn’t imagine Christmas without going to Church on Christmas Eve/Day.

Like any other values, we develop our values around Christmas from our own experiences so our values can be different even from the people we love most – couples often have different traditions and expectations about Christmas.

And like many other values, we often don’t consciously think about what our Christmas values are.

So here are some ideas for finding your own Christmas values and ideals:

  1. sit somewhere quietly, close your eyes and dream of a perfect Christmas. Then note down the important features of that day
  2. spend some time looking at old photos and remembering the great bits of Christmas past
  3. deliberately spend some time with those old photos and memories thinking about the not-so-great Christmases (or parts of Christmas) – what are the common features of those less-happy memories?
  4. think about your usual values and how they fit with different aspects of Christmas. For example, if you are a minimalist or charitable person, maybe the excess of food and gift giving makes you uncomfortable or as a non-religious person you don’t like going to Church for Christmas with your family.
  5. over the last few Christmases, what worried or stressed you the most? What things made you feel better and calm?
  6. answer this question thoughtfully Рif you could only do four things to celebrate Christmas this year, what would they be?
Write down your answers, look for common ideas and you will start to see what is truly important to you. Some things will be very specific (e.g. having a glass of fresh orange juice in front of the tree before opening presents) and others more general (e.g. sharing the gift buying with a partner or children).
Writing down a list of values and ideals will help you remember them and be able to share them.

How will you ensure Christmas meets your value and needs this year?