I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving this year, and as we enter the mondo holiday season, it starts me thinking about all the issues that arise.
I know many people have issues with the holidays (as do I). Some people downright hate them, and while I completely understand that, I try not to go to that extreme. And here’s why:
The holidays come every year, whether you want them to or not.
Of course, you have the option of not participating in anything holiday-related, but that in itself becomes a big issue. You can choose to opt out by staying at home alone, or going away on a trip, or getting together with friends and going to a movie or to a restaurant (to truly separate yourself, you’d have to find one without a special Thanksgiving Day menu).
But no matter what you do, it surrounds you. The markets and malls play holiday music, holiday movies and specials are all over TV, lights and decorations adorn shops and homes, and despite your feelings, people will wish you happy holidays.
So, my philosophy has been this: Enjoy the good things about the holidays and ignore the rest.
The “good things” will mean different things to different people. For me, it’s all the great food that people make, the get-togethers with friends, and the white lights everywhere. And although I haven’t had a real tree in my house for a few years now, I love the smell of pine when I walk into my living room (I’ve been settling on pine-scented air freshener). As corny as it is, I also like watching the classic movies and shows, such as Miracle on 34th Street (the original only), It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol in all its various incarnations (one of my favorites is the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney), and Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.
I abhor the commercialism and have pared down my gift-giving to my immediate family, and I try to make those gifts mean something. I avoid, to the best of my ability, the large department stores, or shopping on weekends. I do what I can to make it more tolerable for myself.
If you’re one of those people who has difficulty with the holidays, what do you do to get through?
Here’s hoping you have a wonderful, stress-free holiday season.