Overcoming Christmas Comparison Culture: Embracing Imperfection for a Joyful Festive Season

As the festive season approaches, many of us find ourselves caught in the whirlwind of Christmas activities, chasing the illusion of perfection. In the previous blog, I’ve discussed the challenges of festive perfectionism and burnout. Continuing this theme, today’s focus is on understanding and coping with comparison culture during Christmas.


Feeling disheartened by those impeccable Christmas photos on social media is all too common. Images of families in coordinated outfits, smiling in front of a beautifully adorned tree can make our own chaotic homes seem lacking. If this strikes a chord with you, this episode is here to offer solace and perspective.


The hustle and bustle of December can be overwhelming. My operations manager, Laura, and I shared a light-hearted conversation recently, acknowledging the relentless nature of the holiday season, by saying that “December is a joke that isn’t funny”. This feeling of being overwhelmed resonated with many following an Instagram reel I posted, where I humorously rejected the typical gingerbread house perfection with the middle finger…

The festive season often intensifies our insecurities, primarily due to the constant exposure to ‘perfect’ holiday imagery. However, it’s important to remember that these images rarely reflect the full story. Behind every perfect photo are unseen realities – the untold struggles and unfiltered moments.


To help you navigate the sea of comparisons during Christmas, here are five practical tips:

  1. Compassion for Comparison: It’s natural to compare ourselves to others, but it’s crucial to approach these comparisons with understanding and kindness towards ourselves.
  2. To Compare is Unfair: Online images often represent a selective, idealised version of reality. It’s unfair and unrealistic to compare your everyday life to these polished snapshots.
  3. To Compare is to Despair: Notice how you feel after engaging in comparisons. If it leads to negative emotions, consider curating your social media feeds to include more authentic and relatable content.
  4. It’s Real to Feel: Connect with friends who share the full range of their festive experiences – the good, the bad, and the chaotic. This honesty helps in feeling less isolated in your own experiences.
  5. Only Once a Year: Remember that Christmas is just a brief period in the entire year. If it gets challenging, remind yourself that this season will pass, and normal life will resume.


For those with neurodivergent family members, the festive season can be particularly challenging. The disruption of routines and overstimulation can be overwhelming. If you’re in this boat, remember to schedule time for rest and self-care.


I’m excited to share that I’m nearing the launch of my ADHD membership programme, a space designed for growth, learning, and community. This is a project I’m deeply passionate about. For those interested in joining or learning more, I invite you to sign up for the waitlist at thethomasconnection.co.uk/ADHD. Keep an eye on my website and social channels for upcoming updates and more details!


For more insights and practical tips on dealing with comparison culture at Christmas, tune into the latest episode of the Pause Purpose Play podcast, titled “Dealing with Comparison Culture at Christmas”. Join me as we explore ways to find joy amidst the chaos and embrace the real essence of the festive season.