Tell Me What You Want…What You Really, Really Want
“Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want…
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.”
– Spice Girls, “Wannabe”
Yes, you are in the right place…this IS a blog for the Face the Future Christmas blog series. But it’s certainly not the blog I planned on writing.
What I was going to write about was the staggering number of single-use shopping bags used during the Christmas shopping season – and a friendly reminder to try and remember to use re-useable bags instead, when purchasing both groceries and gifts.
Although I do think every little step we can take to help reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill or getting recycled matters, I also think it is important to take a step back and think about what we – and our loved ones – really want for Christmas.
While pondering this, I turned to an old standby of mine – a book called Hundred Dollar Holiday; The Case for a More Joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben. My good friend, Heather, gave it to me years ago and it’s an excellent read.
The book reminds me of the importance of slowing down long enough to stop doing things simply out of habit – or tradition – and instead try to make more conscious choices during the holiday season.
“In many ways, time is our most valued commodity. If we could buy more of it from some store, the line outside its door would stretch to the horizon.”
– Bill McKibben, Hundred Dollar Holiday
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We all get the same 24 hours each day and despite the tremendous pressure of family traditions, other people’s demands and expectations plus the relentless onslaught of advertising coming at us from every direction, it is still our choice as to how we spend our precious time, energy and money.
I was back in my hometown of Calgary recently and I had a fabulous time! I tend to see an awful lot of people in a few short days and although this can be stressful, I have learned to plan all my visits and activities ahead of time, so that I’m not wasting precious time trying to contact people while I’m in town, nor frantically rushing from place to place.
Sometimes this strategy works and sometimes it doesn’t but when I am running late, it’s usually because I’m having so much fun visiting the people I am with that I don’t want to leave! Whether it was playing with kids, listening to teens, chatting with adults or feeding my elderly Dad lunch, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with each and every person.
And that – time well spent with the people we love – is perhaps the greatest gift we can give each other. Plus it’s easier on the planet…or the landfill, anyway 🙂
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. For further information about the Face the Future Christmas blog series, here is the link.