This Christmas – are you considering – how much is enough?
At this time of giving (not receiving) do we need to ask ourselves as parents – “how much is enough?”
So much to be grateful for this CoVid year
We have so much to be grateful for this Christmas, especially here in Australia.
We have come through a harrowing year of deaths, devastation, distance and discrimination and together we have struggled and supported each other.
We started the year with a devastating bushfire season, where we definitely bonded together as a nation and I know we, as well as many others, were hoping to be able to travel to fire-affected areas to help bring their economies back to life. This was quickly disrupted by the global pandemic CoVid19.
Then came more deaths of family and community members, an overloaded health system, confusion and separation from loved ones, friends, colleagues and school mates.
We needed as a community and country, to support each other through social distancing – a concept very foreign to us, but we did it!
Trauma and panic
Throughout the pandemic we have seen the best of people and the worst. We have seen empty supermarket shelves, along with amazing scenes of support offering to buy groceries for those in quarantine or unable to move freely about due to age or compromised immune systems. There has been a heightened level of ugliness through discrimination in our communities fuelled by fear and anger. And a world shaken again by discrimination being called out in the Black Lives Matter movement.
What a year it has been.
Here in Australia, we closed businesses, our homes, our churches and community centres, and our borders. We sacrificed to support each other. To beat the pandemic at its own game, which is one of connection. While it has brought many social and mental health problems, there is little doubt that as a country we have shown our strength of community – we did it!
So much to be grateful for this Christmas.
As Christmas is upon us, and it is time to look at gift giving, we have the opportunity to take stock of what really matters. Can we use this year to teach us to moderate and measure how we celebrate or will the relief of being able to gather release our need to be excessive?
Once again we can put our sense of community front and centre. We can take this opportunity to have discussions as families asking – who has helped us through this year?
Is it our workplace leaders supporting us to work from home, or our local neighbours? What about our teachers and front line warriors who have worked tirelessly to feed, protect, attend to us and keep us going?
How can we take the gifts of a pandemic year and express our gratitude this Christmas?
Here are some things you can do to spread the cheer and express your gratitude:
- Have a discussion with your family to increase empathy and compassion, encouraging them to reduce the amount of presents they ask for and receive this Christmas (Santa’s elves have a lot of unemployed families to cover this year)
- Buy locally to support businesses who might otherwise go under
- Encourage our children to give to others, through a local charity, Food Bank or giving tree at school or shopping centre, for those who may have lost their family income and be struggling
- Get them to personally make a present for their teacher or school staff to thank them for their incredible work throughout lockdown
- Bake some goodies and drop them into your local supermarket or hospital or doctors’ surgery or clinic; into neighbours’ letterboxes or at their door, or leave them on your own fence for people passing by to pick up
- If you’re planning any day trips over the summer, see if you can take along a friend’s child to give some respite to struggling parents
- Invite an older neighbour in for a festive gathering
- Make an extra meal and drop it into someone you know who may be struggling
The list is only limited to your imagination. Your thanks and connection though will be appreciated and remembered.
We need to not let ‘we are all in this together’ just be another saying or hashtag for 2020, and then we go back to our disconnected and self-indulgent lives.
We can learn and take the gifts from 2020 as we move forward more connected and more grateful than ever.