I have a certain hesitance towards the conventional Christmas I grew up with. Not just for the copious amount of Santa and snow iconography, but also the immense pressure that the holiday season puts on us. "30 days has September, April, June, and November. And 31 days of no parking and 14-hour-work-days in December".
As a store, we have had eight Christmases. It is our favourite time of the year! Our space is filled with energy and excitement about the upcoming summer, we get to see all of our regulars and old timers once again, and we get to watch them enjoy goods we've designed and prepared for them. But, good ol' holiday cheer? After 8 years, we admit it has faded. As I'm sure it has for you. Not just because you are older and care a little bit less, but judging by the conversations we have in store, it seems that many families are dropping the present tradition down to the Kris Kringle game, or the stealing game. We also get people coming in with present-rules, for example, the gift must be second hand, or hand made, or New Zealand made. Last Christmas, my family removed presents for the first time and instead each of my siblings and their children prepared a game so we could make memories and start a fun new tradition. We had a water fight, a truth or dare roulette wheel, and some lovely games down at the beach. Whether it is dropping presents, or defining them, it is truly exciting to see our greater community challenging the hyper-consumerist mentality that has been so well marketed to us.
One of the highlights of my year was meeting a rural farmer who was visiting Auckland and happened upon our store. He was a real stereotypical 'kiwi bloke'. He came in to encourage us about choosing to sell New Zealand made as he lost his manufacturing job before his industry faded away into nothingness. He then also talked about how he loves to give more personal gifts to his loved one. He had a friend who loves oranges, so he gave them a bag of fresh, juicy oranges and loved seeing this person light up knowing that he sees them and **knows** them. This typical 'kiwi bloke' was being intentional and thoughtful, and it brought me great hope.
We all know this to be true: Christmas should be about enjoying and bringing together the whanau. But the pressure about the perfect day and the perfect gift is bankrupting us. We want to encourage you to be mindful and look after yourself this holiday season! What do you need to do (or not do) to embrace the beauty in this season? Do home decorating magazines make you feel the pressure to have the perfect 'table setting'? Do you feel like you have to match the value of a gift someone gave you last time?
Whatever you choose to do, you do you, and take control of this season!
And if you are wanting to be more intentional this Christmas, check out our zero waste gift wrapping tutorials of Furoshiki and making your own ribbon!