Wish upon a Star
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Not only in the supermarkets (I wish they wouldn’t start in October already), but also in our homes. I’ve caught the decorating bug this year and have been busy with putting up garlands, crafting stars, angels and tomtes (a Scandinavian little Santa). I’ve been remembering my childhood Christmases and how excited I used to be at this time of year. I could hardly wait to get out of bed and open the Advent calendars; we always had two: one with pictures and one with little parcels (carefully made up by my mum).
An important day during Advent in Germany is 06th December: Nikolaus! It’s a day you need to have written your Christmas Wish list by; in fact, you need to clean and polish your shoes (we always grabbed the biggest boot we could find) and put your wish list in. Then put the clean boot in front of the window in the living room on the evening and hope that Nikolaus comes to collect your wish list – and exchange it for some little presents and sweets.
Today, a lot of the excitement has disappeared. It’s been replaced by a sense of joy, especially when I sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, relaxing in my beautifully decorated living room with the Advent candle burning. I do love my advent calendars (one with pics, one with stories and one home-made by my sister with little parcels), but instead of racing downstairs in the morning, I now take time to open them during the day, enjoying the surprise, the thoughts behind them.
Wishing, too, is different today.
If you’re anything like me, it’s usually a case of wish it, ‘amazon’ it, buy it. Be delighted with it the next day and ponder what else you could ‘wish’ for to make it even better. So, when my family asks, ‘what do you wish for this Christmas’? It’s a hard question to answer. There are, of course, things I wish for: from building my own tribe to world peace; but those don’t seem to belong on a Christmas list.
Or do they?
Maybe it’s time to have a Christmas Wish list for myself: one that I can carry over into the new year and work towards. The one that’s going to keep me fulfilled for the year ahead. Wishing, after all, is just thinking. And in my line of work thoughts become things – so wishes do, too.
But what about the family?
We like to show our appreciation for others by spending money on them or for them. In a world where everyone seems to have everything, it’s getting increasingly difficult to buy something special, thoughtful, fitting and useful. That’s why experiences are flying off the shelves. ‘Buy now – enjoy later’, maybe even with the person who gifted it in the first place. And that’s wonderful, too. Because time and socialising with friends is precious – much more precious than anything anyone could buy.
But because time is so precious, and in my case there’s the added difficulty of ‘space’ (my parents living in Germany), there’s something else I do: when I wish for something, I go on amazon (as referenced above). But I try to not buy whatever I wanted in that moment. Rather, I put it in my basket or on a wish list. It’s there, but it’s not with me and sometimes it’s a week or two or four before I go back onto amazon and see what I wanted ‘back then’. Some items I buy, some I delete, and some others I leave in the basket. These are the ones that I’d love to have some day, but where the timing isn’t quite right yet (at the moment there’s a piano on there and I just don’t have the space at home). And among those things I know there’s always something I can tell the family about!
Throughout the year, let’s try to become more mindful with our wishes and think more long-term about our needs and wants. Always remembering that everything we wish for is possible – even if it can’t be bought!
Your Fairy Godmother
PS: if you don’t know what to wish for in your life to design your happily ever after, check out Your 3 Wishes: a programme designed to get you on track to live your very own fairy-tale life.