So, it’s a couple of weeks until we celebrate Thanksgiving with Christmas being around the corner. I can honestly say this is the most I have ever been excited about either one of them. I have decided to truly experience both holidays, instead of just managing to get through it with gifts bought and received. As a child I had some that were great, and some that sucked. We never fed into the myth of Santa Clause, my parents certainly weren’t going to let someone else get the credit for what they bought myself and my brothers. I remember my mother being completely exhausted from all the cooking she did on both days, with little time to appreciate the importance of appropriate table setting and tree decorating my father was trying to instill in me. It’s safe to say that the romanticism of it all may have gotten lost in translation.
The change in my attitude about the holidays could be attributed to me realizing how much of ourselves that we tend to give to our jobs and even our dreams, so time spent on things and with people that make us happier become even more important. With that in mind, I am determined to stretch out the months of November and December. This year they won’t just be a blur until the day of, with me confirming that I’ve gotten what I requested, and figuring out whose house will I end up at for dinner. I am going to go out of my way to really observe these traditions, and the best way I can do this is by remembering the details. It’s in the music playing, it’s in drinking hot chocolate, it’s in putting up cheesy decorations that would typically make you turn your nose up, and most importantly being grateful for what I already have. In addition I have decided to leave the conspiracy theories about these occasions out of the picture. It’s safe to say we are not idiots, and we celebrate these holidays not because of the historical or date accuracy, but because we want to. As a society at times it can seem that we don’t have much to come together about, let’s not take away these things too.
We should not allow the “powers that be” dictate when we start getting into the holiday spirit. Do we really need our malls to let us know it’s that time of the year to be of good cheer? When will we decide to meet each other with great expectation and joy on our own? When will we go out of the way to make others happy because we want to see them smile? Should we only be like this towards the end of the year? Absolutely not. While we do have birth days, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries, they are truly not enough.
Let’s find more reasons to enjoy our lives and our families throughout the year, and make the most out of what we have without needing permission to do so.
I am slowly turning into a person I never thought I would become……a sentimentalist. Yuck!
Rachel Bryant Lundy