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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 149 > Get as good as you give

Get as good as you give

Imagine a Christmas where you decide what you want – and make sure that you receive it…It’s not about material things, says Eleanor Tucker, it’s about feeling that you’re entitled to get what you need, without being shortchanged in your bid to please others

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Christmas Eve and it’s past 11pm. I’m on stuffing number two, in a series of three. After said stuffings – traditional pork; sage and onion; and a ‘wild card’ pine nut and prune aair – I’ll move on to the sprouts. Then, I need to build and wrap a pink wooden play kitchen. Tomorrow, I’ll be up at 5am with the children, and be prepping lunch, for 10, from 7am. By the time I have that first welcome glass of wine – once the food is far enough along so I can relax slightly – I’ll be so exhausted I’ll barely be able to join in the conversation, or enjoy seeing the children with their new toys. Merry Christmas.

Reading this, you might think that I am some kind of martyr. The thing is, I’m not. I’m actually quite a rational human being with a good handle on when to stop, allow myself to be helped, take shortcuts, or say no, for my own sanity. But something about this time of year makes me forget all that, throw rationality out of the window and believe those messages that tell me I have to ‘give everyone the perfect Christmas’. Well, that was last year. This year, I’ve decided to get the perfect Christmas instead. Because, like many of us, I’m fed up with pretending to love this time of year just because everyone else does. What’s to love, if you turn into a robot in a reindeer jumper, powered by a cranberry and cinnamon candle and operated by a team steered by supermarket marketing departments? Is this ‘you’? Because it’s not ‘me’.

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About Psychologies

This month we’re exploring how to truly have a happy Christmas. If you don’t have any religious beliefs, the holidays can be rather become a meaningless glut of overconsumption and commercialism, but this issue will help you explore how to create a different experience for you, your friends and family this year. And often it’s about kindness. Our interview with June Sapong explores how we can use kindness in our everyday lives to make the world a better place. One of our own relays her experience of finding the bravery and courage to start dating again. When a relationship goes sour, it’s normal to lick your wounds for a bit but how do we begin to heal and have the courage to be vulnerable and get back out there again? Ellen Tout takes us on that journey. Natalie Hourihan explores ‘creativism’ with author and entrepreneur Orna Ross and shows us how to connect with our ‘creative intelligence’ so we can design a life that works for us on our terms. The good news we all have access to this intelligence, we just need to know how to harness it!
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