The Christmas hangover is a sign of our selfishness. - During eleven regular months.
I like Christmas. The tasty salty ham called ”julskinka”, the liver pâté on the raisin bread and the rice pudding with lingonberry jam. Yummy! To this meatballs and prince-sausage. Typical Swedish dishes during our Christmas holiday. And I like them all.
But in the midst of my intake of love from my family, presents from Santa Claus and calories from the pig, I start to get a bad conscience. Yes, the fact is that it starts even weeks before.
I don't seem to be alone in this. Here in Sweden, newspapers start collecting Christmas presents for poor families. Stores give out Christmas food to those who can't afford it. Organizations gather money for people in famines and so on.
I just wish I could genuinly see the undconditional love in all this. Sure, all these noble sacrifices are great and needed, all the good thoughts are amiable, but sometimes these important presents seem to have a short expiry date. Do you understand how I mean?
We, in the rich part of this world, not the least us up here in the north, are stressing around in our everyday to reach the goals that seem so important today, but which we won't even remember tomorrow.
Making to-do lists, wishing lists and grocery lists. Business meetings, budget goals and profit margins. Football victories, like-hunting and weight loss.
But then in Christmas time, when we are busier than ever, we spend our money and sweat to prepare for the big day with all the food, the gifts and the sweets – that's when it hits us, our conscience.
And isn't that wonderful that we finally care..?
That we feel that our own prosperity doesn't taste as good if we don't share. To bad that it's so easily forgotten, right around when it's time for the New Year’s resolution to be pursued. You know those ”I'm going to work out more”, ”I need to lose some weight”, ”I'm going to stop smoking” and so on. In other words, everything goes back to normal, thinking about what is best for ourselves.
I guess our egotistic ambitions the following 11 months are in some way human (read: inhuman), and sure, to get through life you have to put yourself first.
It's the “fault of the system” that our unnatural modern every day is built on musts that are far from the life what we are made for. Though that is no excuse, because it was our ancestors who built this treadmill.
In Sweden hundreds of thousands take antidepressants. The depression is often blamed on high unemployment and the lack of sun. And sometimes it seems to be even worse when it comes to the heroes of our times – the celebrities. Their pills are a bit more colorful or in white powder form and considerably more addictive.
Of course, I understand that depression and bad conscience aren't the same, but I think that they sometimes can originate from the same problem: our way of life.
So, can't we agree on this, in your actions you will find your antidote. Not in being proud of yourself, but being proud of what you do. Either if it is getting to eat a bag of popcorn or to win an Oscar – when you help someone reaching what you would want for yourself – your conscience can sleep deep as the snow we want for Christmas.
Here in the middle of Sweden, in my hometown Södertälje, it was a white Christmas. Now lakes and ponds are frozen and I’m looking forward to burn of some of the Christmas food while ice skating.
Instead of the fat I will try to keep other things close to my heart, like the generous spirit and the love for sharing, even though Christmas is over. I know that the system wants me back, but I will try to stay abnormal as long as I can.