Is your Christmas the most magical time? Does it fill you with bubbling harmony and heart-warming cheer?
Please tell me your secret. I’m guessing, in order of probability, you run a black market happy-pill racket, you’re Jewish, you have a lobotomy, or you’re enlightened. Your company must be in high demand for millions who find this time of year jaw clenchingly difficult - your black market company, I mean.
If my psychic powers are correct, you're the kind of person who searches for the better version of you, who takes opportunity to find your authenticity. You love to make changes and celebrate your blossoming uniqueness. Am I right? Or am I right!
That is, until Christmas season falls upon us, like we didn't expect it would return after what happened last year. How we sanction that holiday like it has diplomatic immunity.
Let’s be awesome and smear our individuality all over our life – except for Christmas. Christmas says buy and we say how much. Christmas says roast the damn pig and we say lets make it two! Christmas says put the whole family together, and despite our better judgement, we do – although these days, I legally have to inform riot police 24 hours prior. How they love my cacao, almond and maple syrup cookies!
What is it about culture? We don’t do well when we push against it. Look at the near-impossible task the advocates of gay marriage had, to simply change our culture to reflect our evolving society.
And in the name of evolution, I say let's change Christmas! To what ever you want it to be! I dare you to imagine your own version of a holiday – honour baby Jesus if that's your bent, or meditate on faith in humanity. What kind of holiday will make you more YOU?
If you have just fallen under the spell of your own epiphany, stop reading! Write down your grand ideas of taking Christmas in Bhutan or underwater or whatever.
Otherwise, here are six Christmas versions to loosen the choke-hold that is our holiday beliefs. Create your own.
1. Take the no-Christmas challenge. Stop everything. The Pope (two popes ago) said, “Stop it, or you’ll go blind.” Cover those words in tinsel, and it could mean:
A) - Stop consuming the massive quantity of rich food that's dying to launch you down the path to Diabetes.
(B) – Consumerism. Consumerism is definitely blind.
2. Gifts for the kids. No feast. No forced family reunions. One friend drove her family to the middle of the Australian desert with Santa’s presents Strapped to the roof rack. They enjoyed a camping Christmas under the incomparably impressive night sky with a camp fire. Her kids said it was their best Christmas - Evarrr!
3. Home-made gifts. Besides buying that VIP membership on Minecraft, make everything yourself. Scented oil sugarscrubs, shaving balm, essential oil burners, home-made candles, grow loofa’s on your own vine, Make your own Chai mix, decorate a container to put it in; Create the world’s best smoothie health mix and give jars of it to your friends, make something that you can call “My famous muesli mix”. Famous can mean anything!
4. Service gifts. Shoulder, head massage for close friends, mani-pedi for girlfriends and grandmothers, put in a garden for an older neighbour, mow their lawn, teach a friend how to cook that Thai dish they’ve always swooned over, be a personal cheerleader for a friend who's starting an exercise program, deliver a week’s worth of green juices, teach someone something you know. Give the gift of time.
5. Build something. It’s becoming harder to pull kids away from their computers, unless we should 'up' the competition. Materials can be sought well before the holidays and ready to construct on Christmas day. Tree house, skateboard ramp, go-kart, solar-powered something, make clothes, cook an outrageous dish.
6. Holiday. Out of the resort-holiday box. What would be an adventure? For my bestie, it resembles a road trip to his favourite national park. For my child, he wanted to live off the land for the day: catch his own fish, cook it by himself over the fire, pick fruit from a tree and eat it. For my other youngster, she wanted to swim in water that looks a certain way (I’ll spare you the details) and do nothing. That's an amazing Christmas holiday right there!
Aligning Christmas to who you are is inevitable. It will also be inevitable that Aunt Dorothy will feel peeved that she can’t offload her stress and drama on to you for a day. Grandpa too, will be most upset that he can’t share his bone soup with your vegan child and call you a murderer - or is that just my family?
Auntie and Grandpa can always be allotted a special day where they can challenge your newly fledged inner fortitude and harmony, unearthed since you made Christmas your own. Love melts even the hardest of hearts. Like water eroding the hardest rock, it just needs time.
Make culture fluid and be awesome ALL year round. Merry Christmas!