What do you think about when you think about Christmas?
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll agree that being objective is really difficult.
More than anything, looking at our lives and assessing them rationally is very challenging.
When we look at our lives, we tend to be influenced by our biases to the point where the images we have in our minds are very different from reality.
This is true when it comes to our perception of time.
If you think about your life and progression through time, you probably see it in a quite linear way.
Let’s say you’re 30 - and assume that you’ll live a long and beautiful life until about the age of 90. You would probably think that you’re only barely one third into your total life experiences.
So you might think that you still have two thirds of your time with your parents left, can still enjoy two thirds of your total Netflix binge time and dutifully go through the remaining 66% candle-lit romantic dates.
If your life were a graph, you would probably see your progression through time like this...
The thing is that that’s not really how life works. It works like that for some stuff - but not all of it. Here’s what I mean...
Let’s say you will live to have a beautiful 90-year life. If you’re 30, a visual representation of your progression through life looks like this:
If you think about the fact that you will probably have spent the first 18 years of your life with your family and then moved out, it becomes clear that you’ve spent already most of the time you’ll ever spend with your close family.
Even if you visit every week after you move out, you’re still only spending 1/7 of the weekly time you used to spend with them. So really the graph of the time you’ve got left looks like this:
Now think about Christmas. There’s one a year - so this one is linear: you’ve got ⅔ Christmases left to binge on mince pies through.
But here’s the catch… Your parents will unfortunately not live through all the Christmases you’ve got left. And then if you choose to have children, they will at some point spend the festive season with their own family or trip to the Caymans.
So you’ve probably got around 10 Christmases left with your parents - and hopefully around 30 with your children.
Not that many left, are there?
So when you think about Christmas and get reminded of the tons of presents you still need to buy, the ever-increasing price of plane tickets and all the socks you will be receiving - keep in mind the fact that you’ll be soon missing those very things that might have annoyed you.
The biggest gift you can offer those around you this Christmas is your presence. So breathe in, sit back in your favourite comfy chair, sip on some mulled wine and appreciate your time with your loved ones!
Our Christmas campaign this year is centred around this very idea. You can have a look here and see what you have to look forward to in the years to come...
*** Inspired by this Wait But Why article that hit us quite hard last Christmas. Don’t worry - we called our grandparents right after reading it too!
- Our Christmas campaign aims to remind people just how special the festive period really is.