Xmas magic - Con Koutsikas Public Speaking and Communication Trainer and Coach
Xmas magic

Christmas Day is fast approaching…again.  It seems to come around a damn site faster as I get older.  Some people genuinely look forward to the day whether it be a time to spend with loved ones, time off work or the gifts but for many it’s a period of high anxiety and stress that comes around on special occasions.  We magically transform into a different person.  We behave different.  These are my experiences but given I’m not unique on this planet, there is a fair chance many of you reading this have or currently experience some or all of these traits.

Why Am I Spending Xmas with You?

For most of us, we have a high level of hypocrisy.  It’s the one day of the year where we spend time with people we don’t normally spend time with the rest of the year.  Why is this so?  We have these facades of love, joy and goodwill to fellow man on this day but gossip and ignore the other 364 days!  It can be a sense of obligation with family.  Extended family, your partner’s side of the family and your ex are all tough situations and many feel they just don’t have a choice.    As I have gotten older, I’ve become selfish.  The question is simple, if I don’t choose to spend time with them during the year, why the hell would I do it on Xmas day!?  In some cases I never had a problem with any particular individual but the tension between others created anxiety and stress for me.  They didn’t need to say anything….just the look of disdain on their faces told a thousand words.  Xmas day is a bit like funerals, I have known people whose lives were consumed with hatred for another over many years, never a nice word said and then they turn up to their funeral.  Really!  I’m sure it’s either to make themselves feel better or to be seen as doing “the right thing”

Why Did I Buy That?

“We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”  I am not taking credit for this quote as It’s been said by many. It’s sad, but many people buy gifts for people they don’t really like and often on credit and to add insult to injury, are then paying for it for the other 364 days of the year.  If people are judging you on the size or value of your gift, they are not worth buying for, period.   Not only do we spend money we don’t have but ridiculously we buy gifts which in all probability will NEVER be used.  It’s a certainty they’ll either end up on eBay,  re-gifted or worse, in the bin!  You wouldn’t throw a $20 note in the bin so why would waste it on crap.  Now, I can hear “but it’s the thought that counts”.  Yes, it is the thought so think about it.  If your budget is $20 and they are on your “I want to, not feel obligated to buy for” list, make it something they will either use or appreciate.  For someone who has always been anxious about gift giving and not creative, the gift voucher is a god send and if financially, things aren’t what you would like them to be, don’t underestimate the value of a simple card expressing your feelings and how important the other person is in your life.   I’m a big fan of Scott Pape aka The Barefoot Investor.  He tells it like it is and is on a mission to improve financial literacy.  He has great tips on how to actually make Xmas merry and not a financial burden.

How Much Can One Person Eat and Drink??

It’s like it’s the last supper! There will be food tomorrow and this was not the last grape harvest.  I’m all about variety and having certain things for special occasions.  That’s what makes it special, but Con, you don’t have to eat everything!  You can only eat leftovers for so long and its ultimately criminal the amount of food thrown out.  I have modified my eating habits and I’m sure many of you can relate to this so enough said.

How will you be spending Xmas day?

For me, I’ll be spending my day with my beautiful children, their loving partners, my adorable grandson and my gorgeous partner.  Lunch will be a simple BBQ and a few prawns as the extravagance.  We have agreed there will be no gifts from or for me with the obvious exception being my grandson.   It’s simple.   This kind of Xmas isn’t for everyone and each to their own, but however you celebrate Xmas Day, I hope, most importantly, you are surrounded by people you love, 365 days a year, it’s full of joy and laughter and you’re not paying for it for 365 days (or more!).

I look forward to your feedback and until the next edition, my name is Con and I am  “The Con Versationalist.”

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