17 December 2015 at 11:32 am #4451velvetModerator
Christmas is here again and with Christmas, as with all occasions, it is time for families to get together. In the homes of families where the addiction to gamble is present, however, there are often extra tensions and I think it is good to be prepared, as best you can be, for any difficulties that may arise.
I believe the media puts too much store on the ‘perfect’ Christmas – we are bombarded by images of families gathered round the over-laden table, presents round the tree, turkey roasting in the oven with all the trimmings, laughter in the air – a veritable sea of happy smiling faces. If ‘everyone’ is not smiling – they are not the ‘normal’ family.
Well I think we should stuff ‘normal’ along with the turkey – none of us are perfect and everybody on this site is aware that the addiction to gamble is definitely not the perfect guest at any feast.
In my opinion the biggest problem at Christmas is expectation – we expect that if we have done everything in accordance with the media – Christmas will be perfect. It is my belief that if we don’t expect that Christmas will cover all the cracks and blow a glorious bubble of joy around our festivities we will be better prepared – but I also do not think it is question of expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed because negativity brings us down before we even pull our first cracker.
The memories of Christmas’ past come back to haunt us, CG and non-CG alike. How many people have said they do not like Christmas before it even arrives? How many of you are thinking about last Christmas and what happened when …….? How many of you are hoping this Christmas will be better but not really believing it? How many of you are putting off decisions till after Christmas for the sake of other people?
If this forum is anything to go by, the non-CG wants to put others first and to protect all their loved ones from all the bad and sad things in the world but none of us can be everything to everybody, we can only make sure that we do our best. Family occasions are probably the worst times for CGs – the expectation on them is higher than usual but the addiction to gamble reacts badly to expectations.
I invite you to share your worries and yes your expectations – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have them. Maybe if you get your worries out in the open it will help.
I know that none of us can have a guarantee of a wonderful, carefree Christmas but maybe with sharing our hopes and fears we can support each other – not just for our own sakes but also for the CG in our lives.
I will as usual be saying the Serenity prayer at 11.00 hours UK time, on Christmas morning. If you want to join me I would love to hold your hand in cyber space for a moment in time – and make sure you smile.
I wish you all the joy of Christmas
Velvet17 December 2015 at 3:16 pm #4452veraParticipant
Great post, Velvet.
As much as we would like Christmas to measure up to the images portrayed on ads and Christmas cards, we do need to accept that most families are “dysfunctional” to some degree . I have yet to meet a “perfect” family! Whilst we all approach family Get Togethers with good intentions, we need to remember that old rivalries often rear their ugly heads and arguments can flair up, especially when people are stressed and tired from trying to make everything seem perfect. Add alcohol and gambling to the mix and we can find ourselves creating very unpleasant Christmas memories. I ask myself, “is it worth it?”
For my part this Christmas, I hope to get as much done in advance as possible (even if I have to drop my standards somewhat). I always attend Midnight Mass and the Early Morning Mass . This means 4 hours travel late and early. I am always irritable and exhausted on the Day. This year I intend to have a smaller than usual Christmas Day dinner. Prepared in advance. We don’t need to do all the lavish cooking on Christmas Day. There are many days to follow when I will be less tired and less stressed. I can cook the huge turkey and ham on the 26th.
I plan to focus ONLY on positive aspects of personalities and let the traits that irritate me go over my head. Most people have behaviours and traits that don’t fit in with mine (I’m not easy to live with lol!) Trying to control or change others’ behaviour at Christmas is a recipe for conflict. It just WON’T work! Believe me I’ve tried!
If we focus on the True Meaning of Christmas, we can relax, take time out for prayer and meditation in keeping with our religious or secular beliefs and for the CGs here I would say NOT GAMBLING would be the best present we can give to ourselves and to our families.
I think it would be therapeutic, if people add their thoughts , happy or sad, to this thread between now and 25th .
Thanks for opening this helpful Thread , Velvet!
I hope it brings Unity and Fellowship to the Forums.
Just for today, I will not gamble!17 December 2015 at 6:50 pm #4453mickyParticipant
I for one love Christmas the other day i was marvelling at all the windows with lights in them and the christmas lights in town and the people busying themselves round the shops doing their christmas shopping. I think it’s a wonderful christian tradition and i love to see all the people joining in. I will be having christmas dinner for one again since my mam died almost 2 years ago because i used to have it with her. It’s hard to believe that i have 3 grown up children whom i never spend christmas with but thats another storey . So i’m happy in my own way and looking forward to christmas day plus the added bonus that my 10 rest days off start on christmas day this year 🙂 Happy Christmas everyone, 🙂18 December 2015 at 4:50 am #4454worriedmamaParticipant
Agree with all above. Christmas is but one day yet it has somehow become this huge measuring stick with a lot of self imposed stress! Kind of like I imagine Facebook must be!
It always makes me nervous as my son is far more sensitive to all the stresses of the season. Perhaps not having money to buy gifts he would like, the guilt associated with having lost so much money, thinking that others are so much happier and further along in their lives etc. I wish he could see that is the opposite. That the family and friends he has love him, that money or gifts is not going to change any of that and that in reality as mentioned no family or person is perfect. We ALL have our struggles.
Christmas to me is the perfect time to count all my blessings and all that I have instead of what is lacking.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!
To Vera & Micky and all those on the other side of the forum I wish you courage and strength as you continue in your recoveries!!
Cathy27 December 2015 at 8:03 pm #4455michelle45Participant
Hi all. It is with interest I read the posts about Christmas. I just wrote a lengthy post and deleted it by accident ! This post will therefore be more succinct!
Reading velvets post made a lot of sense. I realise I was dreading Christmas before it came thinking the worst. Thinking back to past Christmas s. Realising I spent quite a lot of my time doing this in general. Expecting the worse. Then everything else is a bonus. Perhaps not realising it is a negative way to live.
Christmas has passed without drama. It has been really enjoyable. I have a 4 year old daughter who is having a great time. Time to take stock and look at ways to be more positive with my thoughts and expectations for 2016. Time to expect more from me and for me!
I send everyone best wishes for 2016. Thank you velvet for your ongoing support throughout the year. Thanks to the many others I have met and learnt from. Thanks to vera whose insight became a real turning point for me. I continue to read posts on both forums. This site has changed my life and feels like a good friend.
So I hope your Christmas went well. Best wishes for the new year.
Take care mx27 December 2015 at 8:31 pm #4456lizbeth4Participant
Thanks Velvet for your post above! This year I was ready in advance. The presents were bought and all the decorating was done. It was a small gathering this year at my house, my Mom, Daughter and Grandson. My Daughter’s boyfriend joined us Christmas night. The dinner was delicious, made by my Daughter and myself. I had no grand or perfect expectations, just quality time with my family. No gambling equals a good life.
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