Getting Through Together – #simplethingsnz

Hello team,

How are we?

As Christmas time approaches I was questioning how to cover the festive season. Last year, my plans for this years Christmas centred around sharing with you a little how my Christmas pans out. See, my experiences of Christmas was once very different and at one point in my life it was one of the scariest times of the year. Past traumas from generations prior meant tensions were high and it almost was a day of reflection (and projection!) of just that.

Now my experiences of Christmas are quite different. I mean, for one I’ve moved to the other side of the world and in that Christmas time does feel different. The weathers warmer (a LOT warmer) and Christmas seems to be a time of celebrating with loved ones which also includes friends rather than the traditional family unit.

I had plans to share with you a little on how my christmases pan out in the form of vlogs and photos to share a little hope that the festive season can get a little lighter, but after the whirlwind of a year we have had it somehow didn’t seem right. With that, it left me reflecting on what Christmas really is all about to me which is something we can all embrace.

This year All Right? and The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand have launched their summer campaign ‘Getting Through Together’. The purpose of the campaign is to take the pressure off material things and spending, and remind people that it’s the simple things that get us through, and bring us joy – ahakoa he iti, he pounamu.  They have asked me to share some of the simple things that help me get through which again is really what Christmas is all about for me.

From a young age I had set goals on what I wanted Christmas to look like for me. I had goals of having my own family and cooking Christmas in my own home which would be decorated from top to toe. It was a long term goal and focus for me and each year I felt myself getting closer to that very goal.

Christmas and the feeling around the day had got less and less each year and that fear and reminder of memories had started to diminish. These last few years I’ve really felt like I had a blank slate when it came to Christmas and a platform in which i can create what I want for the day.

I realised this year though that this long term goal I had was almost preventing me from enjoying christmas for me. It was always when i have this and when i have that. This year I decided to decorate the house just for me and Lola because…

why not?!

I hurried out to buy myself my first Christmas tree and baubles to decorate it with and made myself a wreath to go down my stair case which I lovingly sprayed with fake snow and giant bows. I found a selection of lights from a local store and scattered them on the tree and various nooks in my home.

When I had finished I stepped back to admire it all and noticed that our furry friend, Lola was also admiring the scene. Her little button nose pressed gently across the bottom row of baubles and she turned her head as the christmas lights flickered on and off.

I was proud of myself for not only what I had created with very empty shops but that I had grown enough to go from despising the holiday season to fully embracing it even if that was just for myself (and Lola!)

For me Christmas really is about the simple things. I don’t have a lot of those ‘traditional’ Christmas things that most have but that doesn’t mean the day and I certainly have never felt like I’m missing out.

Absolutely not!

This year I decided to jump in my car and travel to the north island for a little break. This year has just been wild as I’m sure you can all agree and I really wanted to just kick back and relax. Sadly I have a fair bit weighing heavy on my heart right now from unwell friends to Covid-19 (especially due to those back home battling with not only the virus but a less than positive experience with the government) I found myself connecting even more to those simple things. Decorating my tree and spending time with loved ones (and Lola!)

I normally find myself baking and created handmade gifts for people, but this year I just somehow felt in my heart it wasn’t needed. I mean, none of those things are ever needed they’re just a thoughtful gesture, but this year i realised the presence of people was more important than presents. Creating special memories, are the things that are important and help us live a more happy and fluffing life.

The message? Its the simple things that matter most.

What are the simple Christmas moments, places or things that bring you the greatest joy? Is it spending time with loved ones, simple christmas gestures or enjoying your favourite food?

There can be a lot of pressure and expectation to feel jolly during the holidays – but it’s important to remember it’s okay to have ups and downs, just like any other time of year.

If you or someone you love needs support, there is help available. Remember you can always call or text 1737 – their trained counsellors are always on hand to help, no matter the time of year.
For further support:

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 111.
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)
Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email or online chat
Supporting Families for help supporting someone you care about:  

Take care and Merry Christmas everyone!



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