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Why Silly Season is Becoming Less Silly

Reigning it in. Seasons Greetings.

By Justine CrowleyPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 6 min read
Why Silly Season is Becoming Less Silly
Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

Each and every year (with rock solid certainty) towards the pointy end of the year (usually from Halloween onwards) we are in what is known as the Festive Season (aka. Silly Season). This season is obsessed with joy and happiness (sure), as well as burn out, unfairness, inconsistencies, and frivolity, to only name a few.

By Ian Schneider on Unsplash

There is nothing wrong with celebrating a great year, or on the contrary (a really, really tough year...echoing your sentiments here); yet with the multitude of world events, inflation, employment challenges, and uncertainty all round; now is the time to (literally) reign it in. Pun intended.

This is why this Silly Season is becoming less and less silly. Why?

People have less money to spend. Hence less purchasing power. There were an abundance of people in the country where I currently live (Australia) who went out to Flemington to celebrate and enjoy the Melbourne Cup (a high level frivolous and sometimes violent excursion, in and of itself), only to hear of the RBA's announcement half an hour before the race that stops a nation begins, that Interest Rates have gone up another 25 basis points. (And it came as a surprise to many Australians here. Trust me.)

By Violeta Pencheva on Unsplash

To attend the Melbourne Cup live is a special occasion. People spend a fortune on dresses, suits, fascinators, tickets to enter Flemington, booze, food, bets, and Uber rides to name. The RBA's decision (Australia's central bank, similar to the fed in the US) was a real electric shock to many who attended. Why? Because they have mortgages.

Therefore, since Interest Rates started to increase in May 2022 (I was in the thick of it, renovating a vacant home that I was about to put on the sales market) there have been 13 rate rises in an 18 month period. Then again, with persistence and determination, that house sold quickly.

By Emil Kalibradov on Unsplash

Simply put, anyone on a modest $500K Mortgage (in Australian Dollars, which will only buy many an average apartment at best) is now paying extra interest (on top of the principal and the normal interest prior) of $1210 AUD. That is the equivalent of buying a brand new iPhone every single month, without actually doing so of course. Even though we love our technology and our smartphones; yet who in their right mind would want to update their phone every single month?

By Fabian Blank on Unsplash

And where will they get the extra money from, if they cannot get a pay raise, or raise their income to pay for all of this? And if their savings account balance is sparse?

Therefore, and I am not being a party pooper in saying this: none of us can afford to be silly this silly season.

By Cameron Stewart on Unsplash

Therefore, now (and even for the next couple of years) all of us need to be leaner and leaner on our Christmas spending. There is nothing wrong with gifts and advent calendars; yet some of us might have to settle for a simpler dinner, or engaging in a Kris Kringle set up with family and friends to name.

By Myrlene NUMA on Unsplash

People need to be more creative and frugal. According to ING's Sense of Us Study 2023; 45% of people want to save money in the next 12 months. Furthermore, 58% of people say that a lack of money and savings is a barrier to achieving their goals right now, and that would include their ideal Festive Season. 35% of people say that being fatigued and lacking motivation is the reason why they cannot go all out on their aims and ambitions; including celebrating this most glorious time of the year.

By Cullan Smith on Unsplash

Next of all, tensions and conflicts rise at the pointy end of the year. You have not seen your entire family for the year, and you are kind of forced to spend the whole day with them; even if a couple of people in your family circle send your mental health backwards. At least a couple of months prior is now the right time to prepare yourself, so that you remain calm, present, grounded, and relaxed in such situations. People can and do chuck tantrums over unwanted gifts. It is the thought that counts, and despite the stresses of this time of the year; people in those situations should show a bit more gratitude for the thought process in the first place. In a tough economy, I am so grateful for any gifts I am given, even (say) if the brand of the beauty product that I love is not given to me; I still appreciate what has come my way.

By Maricar Limjoco on Unsplash

Furthermore, people have gotten high on booze, and have gotten too into the spirit of the "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry" meme in all Silly Seasons in the past. Christmas lunches were associated with all you can eat buffets, and needing a four-hour nap afterwards. Not so much now, thanks to high food prices due to inflation and other food supply issues worldwide. The same ING Sense of Us 2023 study reports that 20% of the sample surveyed attend work events, Town Halls, and other functions for free food and drinks. Just because it is there, and you do not have to pay for it, does not mean that it is an invitation to go into excess anymore. You will end up with more than a physical hangover. Save your job for goodness sakes. Times are tough enough for all of us right now (as at the time of writing), and AI screening you out sometimes is not helping. It is strange to find a few of my old classmates from my UX Design studies back in 2020 now asking me if I am hiring, because they have attended around fifty job interviews with no job offer.

By Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

And you cannot afford to get sick. Being sick is expensive business, and it also zaps your self confidence. And if you are about to head into a much needed medical procedure as it is (even if it's not surgical, through no fault of your own); it is not the time to go overboard. Especially now.

By Aleksandar Cvetanovic on Unsplash

Finally, people are tired/fatigued/a bit over it. Myself included, I must confess. Sure, 2o23 (as at the time of writing) was (and still is) a much calmer year than 2022; yet I noticed that I was feeling run down by the events and circumstances of the entire year from the end of October. There was immense pressure in keeping my business afloat, and in keeping it in a strong position, while ending a tough year of it in an even stronger position. Now my living situation is way more comfortable. As a result, this is going to be my last Vocal Media article submission for this year. I shall be back in 2024 well rested. Not the time to be silly.

By Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Even for this side hustle (writing for Vocal Media), it took a lot of chutzpah to produce four Top Story award winning articles four months in a row. Not an easy feat, and talent alone does not get us anywhere, economically speaking.

By Corinne Kutz on Unsplash

If you stay sensible, and please stay motivated by following all of the above tips in being less silly and abnormal (not saying that you are, yet it is easy for all of us to fall for the hype, and for leaving carrots out for you know who); then you will be just fine, and you'll be even more rested for what 2024 shall bring to us both individually and collectively. Just keeping it real and raw.

By Michelle on Unsplash

On that, my wonderful subscribers and readers, I wish you and your families a wonderful Seasons Greetings for a less silly season for this Silly Season and beyond; even for when the times get good and prosperous again. They will.

Know that all life and economic cycles do pass, and sooner or later we will all be able to breathe again, and hence be more motivated and productive.

Thank you profusely for your support.

By Howie R on Unsplash


About the Creator

Justine Crowley

Freelance Internet Moderator/UX Writer/UX Consulting Designer/Graphic Designer

Lives in Sydney, Australia. Loves life.

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Comments (3)

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  • Test5 months ago

    Excellent work! Keep up the fantastic effort::💝💓❤👍👌

  • Reading this made my head spin. But you're not wrong. We just can't afford to be silly. Anything can happen anytime and we may need to use the money that was used up for all these celebrations. Thank you so much for sharing this! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    Merry xmas, happy new year, all the best.

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