What is it about Christmas? Every year on around the 22nd December I end up feeling entirely frazzled, thinking ‘why the fuss’?!

It’s not as though I’m not organised. On the contrary, I’ve had a list and been ticking things off since November. Nor am I entertaining – Mum’s doing all that. Yet even so it’s just all so overwhelming still.

The final emails to be sent before finishing work. The last presents to be wrapped. The ever-smaller bits of sellotape as the roll runs out. The flowers and wine you mustn’t forget to pick up for your hosts. The toothbrush that needs putting into your travel bag before you leave in the morning… Etc, etc, etc.

Now let’s face it, none of these are real problems. I get that. But there’s something about the sheer relentlessness of this time of year that makes me feel like someone’s dragging their fingernails down the inside of my brain.

So it’s 7.45pm on 22nd December as I write this and actually I’m finally done but instead of feeling happy or relaxed I’m lying in bed feeling faintly sick with stress and wishing I could sleep for days. And every year it’s the same.

In truth it’s probably my least favourite time of year so why don’t I do differently? I always set out to.

I guess it boils down to expectations – yes, those of others but also my own too, about what I should be doing and I guess what I should be enjoying too. As I get older, I love January more and more – that minimalistic, back to basics living that everyone else seems to find a chore is my idea of bliss! But surely I can bring some of this into December?

If my feelings about Christmas are to change (and I’d really like them to) then it’s something I must work on. The pressure has to come off and I have to take control of what Christmas means for me. That is unless I want to be back here on 22nd December next year writing the very same things…