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The LifeSearch Grinch
2 Dec 2019
What's been upsetting the LifeSearch Grinch?
#1 Social Media
Love it or hate it, social media's as big a part of our lives as food or toilet breaks. And at this festive time of year, sure - it can be a huge positive as scattered families share pictures and videos to bridge the distance.
Yet, as ever, social media undoes any of its questionable positives with a sea of horrific negatives. Not only are Facebook et al are simply sucking the sparkle out of Christmas, many of us get into debt as we try to present the world with an Insta-perfect December 25th. Enough.
#2 Elf on the Shelf
A creepy phenomenon posing as a cute toy, Elf on the Shelf is a gimmick to encourage good behaviour. The premise is that Elf (from high upon the Shelf) scrutinises kids' conduct and reports back to his boss, who's prepping his Naughty and Nice lists.
A toy that encourages your child to be good is a probably, on balance, maybe a good thing. Sigh, then social media steps in to gamify it and add needless layers of complication.
Yes, techie types with time on their hands have created 24 different scenarios for the elf - think raiding the fridge or zip-lining down the stairs. So now it's not so much an Elf on the Shelf (which was just about palatable) but a zany, interactive advent calendar which sucks the lifeforce out of kids at the fag end of the year. Honestly, who has time?
Needless to say, elfy won't be on my shelfy.
#3 The Perfect Christmas Tree
Growing up, Christmas decorations were clashing colours, tacky tinsel, and some abstract things hanging from the ceilings. It was all a bit trashy, but still it was magical.
I have nothing against glamming-up Christmas - but it has gone too far. Apparently there's now Christmas colour trends, like in fashion. It's Christmas - it's red and green, no?
We're now bombarded from all sides with stylised pictures of on-trend trees and seasonal baubles. Don't dare throw on gold when silver's IN this year. I don't remember Chrimbo décor being an arena for competition, do you?
On top of that, the latest trend doing the rounds is handmaking your Christmas accoutrement from foraged items. So says Kirsty Alsop, paying to upgrade your Christmas tat isn't good enough, you now have to sweat over it.
Avoid, avoid, avoid. It triples the pressure on what's already a busy, expensive, stressful time of year. Sod even more spending at Christmas - I'll wait on the January sales thanks.
#4 The Santa has been pic
The most damaging social media trend to hit us at Christmas? Pictures showing piles of presents under a tree aka LOOK HOW MUCH MONEY WE HAVE.
Really, if you can afford to provide all this for your family at Christmas - awesome. But do spare a thought for those who can't; who struggle and don't need your wealth – or the appearance of wealth – rammed down their throats. It's not even sparing a thought for strangers in Australia who click your #Christmas hashtags, but friends or family members who don't have what you have.
We don't boast about our salaries because it's tacky. This is just that by the back door, and it packs a punch on those who’s Christmas haul doesn't measure up. Social media fronting is pushing people into debt in a country where there's already quite enough of that.
So please, let's not push people further into the hole via a crass game of oneupsmanship. Really, who needs to know what’s under your tree?
Here’s an idea let's start a new trend at Christmas: #SorryJeff.
Together we can lowball Christmas, spent next-to-nothing and take pleasure in depriving Bezos of his 16th yacht.
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