How To Trick Your Family Into Celebrating A (More) Wholesome Christmas
It’s that time of the year again; where holly is nothing without jolly and ho ho ho indicates merriness instead of a warning as you’re about to hit someone with an overloaded shopping cart.
Because big hauls are a thing of the past! Say bye, bye to best buys and oh, hello to environmental friendly, ethically sourced, locally brewed, organic, cruelty free, vegan, independent, womxn owned, fair laboured, handcrafted, personalised, overly thoughtful… uhm… stuff. Sure, potential family feuds are patiently waiting for their debut while the tree gets decorated; but that’ll just be another reason why we don’t need useless knick-knacks to have a good time!
Christmas? I’m only familiar with the celebration of Consumption…
Holidays are a reminder of our (excessive) material existence. In the eye of the general public we, the #woke, therefore demand for its disintegration; going back to a world made out of sticks and stones. But that’s not entirely true. In our fight against bad stuff, stuff in general has become the oogie boogie man. Which angers those happily drowning in their newly bought belongings. You can’t convince everyone to become a millennial minimalist, but you also can’t convince everyone to become a bulk buyer. Therefore, to reduce family friction, it’s good to lay down some ground rules.
However, change is often taken as an insult. Why change something that isn’t broken? Well, first of all it is broken and you won’t be able to finish that sentence. Because you’re breaking down something that’s familiar. Already broken, but familiar. So when you barge in, declare that their fun is no fun and that they should give up their happiness for something more wholesome, you’ll loose the battle no matter how persuasive your pitch. In these cases, the best solution is to find a middle ground. Although compromise has become a dirty word, we need to play dirty to finally fulfill our goal of ‘feeding the world’ and ‘making it snow in Africa’ (35 years have already passed, we need to get moving people!).
3 tips to trick your family (in an ethically justified way)
Idealistically you’ve already had this festive discussion earlier this year. I mean, holiday marketing also starts in August, so why not our 2.0 Christmas campaign? But for those late to the party: here are some tips to trick loved ones into celebrating a (more) wholesome Christmas in an ethical way. I mean, that’s the whole point, right?
1. It begins with you
If you’ve left discussing Christmas plans for this long, either two things are up 1) you don’t celebrate Christmas or 2) you do celebrate Christmas but every possible suggestion that ‘messes’ with your family tradition is shot down before you can finish your sentence. In the latter case: I believe you shouldn’t keep up appearances just because your existence is an inconvenience for others. But conservatives are a hard crowd to crack. Especially those convinced that their way is the only way.
In these hostile environments, where things get overheated pretty quickly, the best thing to do is to choose for yourself. Which sounds more like defeat than compromise, but that’s not true! As stated above: you can’t convince everyone, but you can convince yourself. While others are stuck in their ways, you can at least try to do your best and make demands that are reasonable in your situation. Making it snow in Africa is a ridiculous demand, but trying to support independent businesses when Christmas shopping is reasonable, something you can do and #woke.
2. Make ‘hahaha isn’t this fun?!’ demands
However, if you are willing to share your worries, remember: don’t point fingers or make someone feel guilty for their Christmas convictions; judgement doesn’t make people change their ways, it just makes them angry. Although you are dreaming of saving the earth this Christmas time, others have had their Black Friday fun, Cyber Monday madness and do not shy away from another big buck deal. Not because they’re evil people (except for uncle ‘the Devil didn’t dare to say it so I did’ McGee), but because “that’s what Christmas is all about”. Christmas in their eyes is unwrapping presents underneath the Christmas tree and eating loads of yummy food. Oh, and something about Jesus or something. Idk. And there’s nothing wrong with that kind of Christmas experience!
However, what some forget is the way these convictions have been traded with just consumption. Where the emphasis isn’t on sharing an experience, but on how much the experience costs. So, when you say ‘hey, let’s not do that’, make sure you emphasise on the things that matter most to you and how your tweaks could ensure for a better experience (for everyone). In case grandma gets scared she won’t receive her long awaited iPad, say this: you’re not anti-consumption or anti-buying, but you want to redefine what it means to consume and redirect the money flow. To turn mindless actions into conscious transaction that takes into account the impact we have on the world and each other.
And yes, grandma, if you really want that iPad, I’ll get you that bloody iPad!
3. Don’t forget to have fun
I know, I know, in a world that’s literally on its downfall, ‘fun’ is anything but to have. However, here’s a reality check: it takes more than one Christmas morning to save the earth. Although every action we take is important and, in the end, will add up; it’s still just one more day in a long battle for saving the earth. Again, this sounds more like defeat than compromise and, again, you’re wrong.
Be appreciative for the changes people are willing to make, even when they aren’t perfect. Remember that we’re in it for the long run and need to treasure and take care of our holly jolly attitude. How else can we be the change we want to see? Sure, we can also be the one curled up in a corner crying, but not for the long run… Christmas can be stressful. But through grounding yourself in gratitude and to be reasonable to yourself (and others!), it’s a good time to enjoy each other’s (and your own!) company.
How do you celebrate Christmas this year? Have you made any changes in your usual holiday comings and goings? Let me know in the comments down below!