It’s the thought that counts
LET’S talk about stress.
The big C is just around the corner.
No, not cancer... Christmas.
If there’s one time of the year when things can get reeeeaaal ugly, it’s now.
While the Big Brother Brands sell us the frenzy of fairy lights and extrav-electronic-aganza; at home, Christmas can actually be a hot poker to a family’s pain, turning up the heat on a battle field, perhaps within ourselves, or between the people who know (and love?) us the best, usually for the worst. Joy to the world.
Ever since Australia started nativity scene-shaming in case the Middle East and North African figures depicted in the geographically accurate star-lit barn were seen as politically incorrect (because...?), the void left by the absence of key Christian festival symbols had to be filled with a different story. All I want for Christmas...
Ahem, something else, as meaningful. Giving.
And, receiving gifts at Christmas is nothing new. Some families give out ipads, others, alcohol-induced black eyes. Told you it can get ugly.
We need to ask ourselves, why is that?
Who is placing such high expectations and pressures on our homes and family bonds that Christmas can cause meltdowns, regret and violence? Violence?
O Holy Night.
But, giving is a good thing, right? Yeah, fist bump, that’s a great thing!
Giving is one of the most rewarding gestures two humans can share between each other. When I was about 10, my grandmother gave me for Christmas a loaf of bread (it was an in joke) and it’s the one gift I hold dearest of all because it came from her to me, not Mattel. It was about us, not the price tag.
It was a gift of ‘not too little, not too much, just right’. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s Christmas in the Goldilocks Zone, and a lived concept in Sweden called Lagom.
Lagom creates the kind of contentment the Swedes are famous for, which doesn’t come from having things. It’s an internal state and simple things make you feel it.
Lagom also means, just the right amount, adequate, in balance, perfect-simple, suitable.
Perfect-simple. That sounds like a fairer, less complicated and more contented way to navigate the festive season.
Big Brother Brands have their place, but if courting them creates anxiety, self-doubt or depression, then, that’s a relationship better kept at arm’s length.
Open some doors to real memories this Christmas with meaningful (plastic free!) giving. Create rather than consume. Teach the next generation the most important things in life are the simple things, and as everyone knows, they’re free.