I absolutely adore the Christmas holiday season. I suppose I have my mother to thank for it. In fact, I think it was her favourite holiday too. She would decorate the house with Christmas related trinkets and play good old-fashioned Christmas music on the record player (yes, I know, I’m dating myself). The best part was that my siblings and I would have the fun of helping to pick the Christmas tree which we later decorated once Mom put the lights on. Sometimes we made a gingerbread house, sometimes we didn’t, yet we always drove around the neighbourhood at night to see the decorations and lights on people’s homes.
It was such a feel-good time with family and friends. I look forward to it every year because it makes me feel happy, warm and safe because I know that we all felt that way. It was family time.
Honestly, I wish people could feel the feelings of family happiness, warmth and safety all year round. Of course, for this to happen, some things would have to change.
At this time all around the world, there will be children sending off their letters to Santa requesting what it is that they wish to see under the tree on Christmas morning or hope to have happen. I’m doing the same.
Today I’m sending Santa Claus, my #GrownUpChristmasList in hopes that families can find time to be together and enjoy feeling warm and happy all year long. So here it is Santa.
Families will become unplugged at the dinner table and talk to each other.
It makes me sad when I see the family dynamics at the dinner table these days. Kids and parents alike with Smartphones, tablets and game machines at the dinner table. My goodness, what happened to having a conversation?
In my household, dinner time was special. We all sat down at the same time. Once everyone was seated, we blessed our meal and then we ate. My Dad would ask each child how was their day at school. As kids, we shared either what we learned, what happened in a sporting event or after school activity. Everyone shared. He’d then ask my Mom how her day was and then thank her for a lovely meal.
Today, I see no conversation happening what so ever. Tablets have become the new babysitter at the table to keep kids occupied. What happened to ‘sit there quietly, chat with your brother or sister’. Back in the day, a lot could be learned from adults if you just sat there and listened.
Santa, I’d like for mealtimes to be a time to #digitallydisconnect to reconnect. Which brings me to my next request.
Bosses will allow their employees who are on Vacation, BE on Vacation.
During conversations with individuals in my community or when talking to participants during a training course, I’m amazed by the number of people who tell me that when they are on vacation, they’re never truly on vacation. Their bosses expect them to be ‘on call’ or respond to emails. Hey Boss, what’s up with that?
Ah, excuse me. Have these bosses missed the whole concept of vacation? Does someone need to spell it out to them? Do we need to provide them with a dictionary with a definition of vacation?
Are you a boss that expects your people to be at your ‘beckon call’? If this is you, then read this. Shame on you. Stop it! Stop it right now! The fact that people now have laptops, tablets and smartphones does not give you the right to demand (or create a strong impression) that your staff be available when they are away on holiday with family or friends. #JustSayin’.
My third wish is very close to number two on the list.
Bosses will not expect employees to answer emails or What’s App messages after they have left the office for the day……whatever time that is.
I’ve been living in Asia for almost 27 years and I continue to be amazed (and disheartened) to hear individuals speak about this ‘expectation’ that they must answer emails from their bosses even once they’ve left the office. What’s worse is when I hear that the boss will sometimes send them a What’s App message within 5 or 10 minutes of sending their email if they haven’t received a response or to let them know an email has been sent.
The expectation of making employees respond to emails after hours, when it’s their personal time in my opinion is absolutely wrong! Equally sad is the fact that employees feel they have no choice but to answer out of fear of losing their jobs.
The laptop and smartphone that was designed to make our lives easier has inadvertently created monsters out of some bosses who feel that their staff are always within reach because of such devices.
My wish Santa is that these bosses will have second thoughts and change their expectations and allow families to truly be with one another at home.
Santa, here’s the next thing.
People need to stop trying to keep up with the Facebook-Jones.
Back in the day, or should I say back in the day when I was a kid, parents took pictures during the family vacation and then copies were distributed to family and friends in the mail or within Christmas cards. Our reaction was, ‘Oh how nice, it looks like they had a good time.’
Today, people immediately post pictures on Facebook of every aspect of their lives, where they are, what they did or are doing, about their pets or what they ate. Sometimes the post might be business related of where they are conducting business and with what company.
Now here’s the kicker. Instead of having the reaction, ‘how nice’, the reactions by the viewers are, ‘oh no, their life is so much more interesting than mine or they’re doing better in their business than I am, or their job is more exciting or they this, or they that.’
These individuals have been caught out by Facebook envy or what I prefer to call Keeping up with the #FacebookJones. In the article by Carla Reedy, she states that too much Facebook can lead to envy and depression.
If this sounds like you, then get off Facebook and secondly, stop comparing your life to what other people are doing. Measure your success based on your own accomplishments and not what others are doing.
Lastly, consider the source of these posts. Many times, the posts are for their benefit, not yours; individuals seeking validation that they are living the ‘good life or that they’ve made it. They’re keeping up with the Jones.’ Enough already.
Okay, this is the last thing Santa, I promise.
May the days leading up to the holidays and as we move into 2017, I wish that everyone would be kinder to one another, that the world will continue to look for cures for cancer, and that God will oversee the leadership of the world so we all will get along and thrive on this planet.
So, there you have it Santa. My #GrownUpChristmasList.