Some things we don’t have to do at Christmas

There are some things we don’t have to do at Christmas.

We don’t have to exchange laughter for stress or spontaneity for control.

We don’t have to take responsibility for everyone else’s happiness.

We don’t have to drink more alcohol than our body’s comfortable with.

We don’t have to experience the discomfort of over-eating.

We don’t have to punish ourselves for not being as happy as the Christmas adverts.

We don’t have to go to social occasions we don’t feel up to.

We don’t have to believe that money spent equals love.

We don’t have to be ruled by family demands.

We don’t have to imagine people will be nicer this year than they were last year.

We don’t have to pretend we’re coping.

And we can go for a walk if it all gets too much, because we’re allowed to be alone.

And in the cracks between all the things we have to do, kindness, hope and wonder will find us.

A secret Christmas, known in our hearts…

that we don’t have to ignore.

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