Surviving the Holidays
I bear no resemblance to Scrooge, and while I think the Grinch is hilarious, I don’t fit into that category, either. I love the traditions, rituals, and experiences I share with my family for the holidays. However, I don’t always enjoy the constant commercials, gift ideas, and other marketing that come with the season. As I said before, I love the traditions shared with family and friends, and over the years, I have learned and incorporated new traditions from all over the world. As I have grown, learned, and shared with others, I have never felt like one tradition took away from my personal preferences or practices. I have an appreciation for the beautiful, and sometimes, eclectic traditions of different groups and cultures. I understand that everyone doesn’t agree on what is considered appropriate, but we have created a category of “others” that continues to strain communication and acceptance of differences. I am not saying you must try to incorporate the rituals of others, but I do believe we should respect the differences without forcing opinions and judgments. I am not saying censor your thoughts, but consider allowing people to be who they are, and enjoying their holiday traditions or nothing at all if they choose.
In the past month, as I have ventured into stores and experienced an increased risk of banging my legs and arms on decorations and merchandise as I enter the stores. There is a sale weekly for something, and it is, sometimes, a marked-up item that has been reduced to the regular price. It is difficult to avoid the clutter, even when purchasing gas at the corner store. So, I had to think of some ways to reduce the stress of marketing overload and surviving the holidays.
- Be grateful for the memories I have created. I have had some great holiday experiences, and some not so stellar celebrations. However, I choose to focus on the positives. So many people waste time focusing on the negatives and things that really don’t matter. By focusing on good things, I stay in, generally, great spirits and I look for the positives.
- Make a list before entering the merchandise maze. A list allows you to blur out the unnecessary and focus on why you came in the first place. I am a work in progress, but I have done a better job of avoiding the items not on my list that will inevitably end up sitting in a corner somewhere unused.
- Be realistic in your giving efforts. Try to give gifts within your means. There is no requirement to hand out keys to a new car and a diamond encrusted watch. What do I mean? Well, many people are excited by the process of buying gifts for the people they care about only to feel the pressure of overspending for the next six months. While I love handmade gifts, some people don’t. So, develop a budget, and stick to it.
- Don’t feel obligated to do what someone else does. This includes holiday celebrations, gift giving, and any other thing we feel we must emulate. Create your own celebrations, make your own memories, and just breathe.
- Try to enjoy the season for what you believe it is. Whether you enjoy giving and getting gifts, engaging in spiritual practices, caroling, or going house to house for great food, be in the moment and create new memories. Be kind!
I send everyone Season’s Greetings!
Keep on pushing,