If, for even one moment, we can stop and take a breath or two in the run up to Christmas, we can as Sarah Ban Breathnach suggest's choose to do Christmas our own way: we can, if we so desire, refuse to get stressed about all that we are too exhausted to face and embrace all that we are capable of doing, bringing to our chosen table a degree of quiet elegance and cosy charm we could not manage if we overestimate our resources...
Christmas, more than any other time of year, is about the symbols of tradition. Did you hear that? I said "symbols". You know what? Your family don't care if the mince pies come from Marks and Spencers and the pudding is chocolate because no-one ever touches plum. They don't care, as long as we are willing to pay homage to all those things that make Christmas, Christmas, to one degree or another.
Trust me, it is you, (and only you), getting all het up about things that don't matter. So your Christmas cake is as heavy as a brick? So what! I mean really, so what?? (Throw it away!) Go buy one in the shops and decorate it yourself. No-one will know the difference. So you couldn't find the perfect set of vintage cards on Ebay? Who cares? Others, less discerning than yourself would probably have dumped them in the bin come January 6th anyway.It is the sentiment they remember. That is all.
You see in the whole scheme of thing nothing really matters. Make that your mantra. Nothing matters as long as come Christmas afternoon, all those you love are gathered around your table wearing silly hats and happy faces.