I remember when I was a kid how exciting Christmas morning was. I’d struggle to fall asleep, desperate for morning to arrive so I could see what Santa had left for me and my brother. It was never everything on my list, but it was always one or two special things I really wanted. Not knowing exactly what I’d get always made the anticipation even bigger. It also made me more grateful for the things I did get.
When mum and dad (finallyyyyy) got out of bed and had their cups of tea ready at 7am we’d all sit around the tree and watch as each person unwrapped their presents. We’d then spend the rest of the day celebrating with family. Christmas was something I looked forward to all year.
But the older I got the more complicated and materialistic Christmas has seemed to become. The magic of giving lost its sparkle. Adults basically swap shopping lists with each other – nobody wants to buy you something you don’t really want so you wrack your brain for something that fits within the agreed budget and send a link to it. It’s practical yes, but it also feels pointless. We all might as well go and buy ourselves the thing we want.
Then with kids, they already have everything they could possibly want. And Santa has probably delivered every item on their wish list too. Even when you do manage to think of something special, it just ends up tossed aside and buried under mounds of wrapping paper from all the other gifts.
With the crazy amount of over-consumption and resulting waste that ends up in landfill now, I can’t help but feel icky about it all. For me Christmas has become a reminder about just how wasteful we are as a society.
The gradual build-up of over-consumption not only at Christmas but all year long, together with a new awareness we are all slowly gaining around the impact our disposable lifestyles are having on the earth, has me feeling overwhelmed. Standing in a store, it’s easy to think we are getting the best deal when we choose the cheaper items. But we forget about how that item is produced, what materials go into it, how long it will last and what will happen to it when we throw it away.
The cheaper items that often get chosen because they do less damage to our bank account, are usually the ones doing the most damage to our environment. So even though we are not paying the price at the check-out, we are already paying the price with global warming that causes natural disasters, pollution that makes us sick and a mind blowing amount of waste and landfill that threatens the places we live.
It’s difficult for me to convey just how much damage our lifestyle habits (including what we buy, wear and eat) are doing to the earth in words. But some really eye opening documentaries I’ve watched lately and recommend:
The reason I struggle to bring up these feelings, is because I fear that I’ll be seen as the grinch. It’s not that I want to take the magic away from Christmas though, it’s that I want to add it back in. All I want for Christmas is LESS:
- LESS presents MORE presence
- LESS focus on receiving MORE focus on giving (not necessarily material things)
- LESS buying because something is cheap MORE buying because something will add true long term value to my life
- LESS focus on how many material things we have MORE focus on how much joy we have each day
- LESS social media MORE enjoying the present moment
- LESS competition MORE celebration of others successes
- LESS burn-out inducing hustle MORE enjoying the journey
- LESS energy spent on what society expects of you MORE energy spent on what your heart is pointing you towards
- LESS focus on a lack of time MORE focus on the infinite space surrounding us
As a little Christmas present to you I wanted to share some Stories templates you can use this Christmas if you are after a little less too, simply tap, hold down and save to images on your phone or right click and save image on your desktop:
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