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It’s the month of overeating, over drinking, overextending and overspending for many of us and by the time Christmas is here, we are, how do I say it nicely – ‘over’ it! As parents, we work so hard this month, there’s teacher gifts, class gifts, and family gifts to get, there’s food for class breakups to bake (cough… ready baked from Coles), charity work or work parties to attend.

The thing is, most of us bring this insanity upon ourselves. There is always an easier, more simple way. And this year, I am going to do my best to make this a special day without all of the fuss and without killing my ‘mojo’.

When I grew up, Christmas always had a tinge of sadness, hostility and resentment. My parents divorced when I was two, so I always spent it with one parent on alternate years. My mum always said to us as kids, “We are on the borderline of poverty” and you could tell she always wanted to do more, but she always somehow pulled out a special day for us on her year. We’d always have a real tree, so the house smelt like Christmas and our gifts were always practical and few, but we would mostly get one thing that we really wanted. I remember one year when I was five and my sister was about three years old, and she wanted a Cabbage Patch doll. She opened her gift from Santa, and it was a cheap version, one kids would call ‘a dud’ because it didn’t have the signature on the bottom. She burst into tears calling it ‘a flood’ and stormed to her room and spent most of the day crying, “It’s a flood”, every time she saw the doll. I even offered to put a signature on its bottom, but she wouldn’t have it.

I remember this day clearly as it broke my mum’s heart a little, not being able to provide the life she wanted for us kids. But thankfully, Santa was to blame that he brought the wrong one, and the anger from my sister went to him for the rest of the day. But there was a lesson there for me in that moment, and it was: “You’re not always going to get what you want, even from Santa.”

It was a really important lesson to learn, and one that in my opinion our kids don’t learn enough.

Learning comes from hard times, from not winning, from not getting. Drive and ambition come from these things being in your life. If you get everything you want, if you always win and the good times are always in your life as a child, you may grow up with no drive, no ambition and an attitude of ‘I deserve’.

Picture this, a little sea eagle in the wild, he has to fight other birds and search for his food, he becomes a great little hunter, self-sufficient and every day knows that he has to work hard to live, that there is danger, and that some days he will go without because today wasn’t his day, but tomorrow he will try harder. Then picture a sea eagle that grows up with parents that are seagulls. They hang around the bins to get free feeds every day, he is never encouraged out of the nest, he is never put in danger, he is cared for and nurtured, and every demand is met so that he never goes without. This sea eagle will never have the ability, strength of character, drive or ambition to ever leave the nest and fly amongst the sea eagles because life was safer and easier being a seagull, but this bird will live a life thinking “I know there is a sea eagle inside me, there has to be more to life than this, but this is all I know”, or worse “I hate sea eagles, I am not lucky enough to be one”.

As awful as it is to see the people we love the most, our children, be in any sort of pain, it is a very important part of their life that you must not deny.

So, during this festive time, take some time to think of ways you are nurturing your sea eagle without making them a seagull, and let’s make this next generation of kids unstoppable.


  • Bree James

    Bree James, epitomises ‘entrepreneur’. From starting her first official business at the age of eighteen, to running one of Australia’s most successful regional publishing companies, Bree has entrepreneurial DNA in every fibre of her being. The eternal solution finder, Bree’s innate ability to seize opportunity and fill market gaps has attributed to her huge success in the business world. But she’s more than just the driving force behind her own enterprises. Working with organisations around the country, Bree is also an acclaimed presenter, author, podcaster, travel writer, YouTuber, performer, and an inspirational mentor to small business owners everywhere. Her philosophy in life is to be brave, be bold and be brilliant.