Re-engaging with physical things at Christmas


 A lot of people are tired of Christmas. It has becoming a largely empty and meaningless time where we feverishly scan both shops and web sites for “stuff” to buy our friends and loved ones.

Others have downsized their Christmas or simplified to the lowest common denominator – money. We send vouchers or transfer cash to our kids, even our friends. 
Drowning in stuff

So, some people are drowning in stuff – clutter, gadgets, gimmicks and jokey gifts, while others have named all that crap and translated it into the freedom to buy what crap we want by giving vouchers and money.

If you are tired of this repetition year after year, as you arrive with an overdraft or credit card bill in January, then it might be time to try something new.

Renewing the old

Or perhaps something old. The spirit of Christmas isn’t about giving stuff. That stuff is only imbued with the true spirit of Christmas when it is specific and born a a genuine interest in the recipient of our gift. It isn’t only about what they want when they feel grasping and greedy for stuff. It is also about what they really need, and that real need is based on who they really are.

A Christmas deep dive

When you go that deep you often discover that you have no real idea of who your friends and loved ones really are. The only way to find that out is to inquire, to open up a genuine conversation. You can find out what a person really needs by showing an interest in them, listening actively and deeply to them, and also by trusting your own intuition. Finding out what a person really needs doesn’t usually come from asking them what they want.

When you do get them the thing they really need – which may not be something expensive at all and is often something small, well timed and placed, you can truly say you are acting out of the Christmas spirit – a spirit of generosity rather than pandering to superficial desires. 

What do I really need this Christmas ?

What people really need is usually associated with their questions in life, the challenges they are facing, the confusion they are going through. Sorted it can Neville helping to put a wrong to rights, to release tension or to motivate someone. it can lift the spirits, create the space for change. Often what people say they want actually hides those things and we have to see past those barriers.

Sometimes the reaction is an initial frown but then there is also surprise and often a genuine warmth of gratitude as the other person realises you have truly “got” them, who they are. When we meet deeper needs we are responding to other people in ways that affirm them, value them truly as well.

Why not try that this Christmas? It might just fill up that empty feeling with some warmth and satisfaction.


About Paul Levy

Paul is a writer, thinker, facilitator, theatre-maker, and conversifier. He is the author of the book, Digital Inferno.

Posted on December 17, 2015, in Key themes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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