CommercialDecember 13, 2021

Never mind the turkey: How to have a Merry Christmas

We have many expectations for Christmas. Aside from the practical ones – like how much money we’ll spend on gifts and what day the tree goes up – many of us have a detailed image of what the festivities should look like.

From Christmas dinner to the kind of gifts we want to receive and the movies we’ll watch – the notion of any interruptions to our carefully crafted Christmas ideal can feel like a disruption to the day itself.

Recent news of supply shortages, particularly of turkeys and Christmas trees, have led many on the hunt for every festive  ‘essential’ they’re used to having.

But little is being said about how to be OK with what you have, even if your celebrations this year look different to the others. Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned – even for sacred occasions like Christmas. And it’s fine!

  1. Remember that Christmas has meant many things over time

Many of our central traditions – including turkey, Christmas trees and cards – date back to the Victorian period. But historically it was Easter that was the big celebration of the year, not Christmas.

For hundreds of years, our calendar has changed and developed, but the specific details of any given celebration have never been the most important thing. Instead, it’s the sense of togetherness, and the diversion away from day-to-day life, that gets people excited every year.

So, try not to get too hung up on minor details – chances are, at the time, they’ll be the furthest thing from your mind.

  1. Embrace substitutes

For many people, Christmas is the one time of the year to truly go all out and splurge, with people booking their Waitrose Christmas turkey slot months and months in advance.

With looming supply shortages, however, it may not be possible to get exactly the type of turkey you’d like this year – but never fear. A small, blind taste test found that 62% of people either preferred the lower brand turkey they tasted to the higher brand, or they couldn’t tell the difference.

So, this Christmas, put what you believe you’ll enjoy the most aside, and embrace what you’re able to get your hands on.

  1. Don’t compare your Christmas to others’

This is a difficult one, but it’s important. Particularly with how ingrained social media is into our lives, it can almost feel normal to have a constant idea of what others are doing and how they’re celebrating.

Whether yours is a big family or a small one or it’s just you and your partner,  you like an overstated celebration or something lower key – your Christmas is specific to you and your circumstances,  so is fundamentally incomparable to others’.

What’s important is that your Christmas works for you and your family. You wouldn’t want to be celebrating with strangers or acquaintances, so why would you compare your situation to theirs?