As the holiday season for many people goes into full throttle, we are reminded of what happens around this time. We skip the turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving to get out in line before the sun comes up to get the best deals on that TV or gaming console we have been dreaming for ourselves. The materialistic narcissism takes over, even the best of us for the twenty something days leading up to the holidays. Its a competition to see who got the best, expensive, or the shiniest gift money can buy.
This is one of the reasons i have stopped enjoying the holiday season.
What ever happened to enjoy the TV specials like Rudolph, A Christmas Story, A Rugrats Hanukkah or my personal favorite; A Charlie Brown Christmas? Why can’t we enjoy the baking of cookies or festive treats for the holidays with family instead of going out constantly to a shopping mall and arguing about buying items? Where did the days of yule logs and egg nog go? Why do we value the dollar more than the value of time? Why are the holidays a chore?
i can’t figure this out each year when the holidays roll around again.
In my recent memory, one of the things that comes with the holiday season is finding the perfect gift. Even tho i am young, i have ceased the idea of finding the perfect gift for someone, the perfect gift does not have the color of green money if you haven’t figured that out yet. What i have started is to give gifts that have no value to them, no price tag or sale attached. These gifts are what we really need in this world, these gifts are the ones that are valued throughout the years, it doesn’t even collect dust on a shelf. I just give the simple gift of caring. Now you must be wondering what that means, well its very basic. I give the thing that seems to me missing in the holiday season. Whether it is coming home to help with some lawn work or cut a limb off a tree for my dad, to the late night phone calls with friends after a rough day. Showing you care during this season, it can mean the world to someone. Study’s show that with the demanding nature the holidays have along with those who do not have anyone to celebrate it with. Creating a black hole within the holiday cheer. We can change this, we just need to start where the basics lay, by caring about our fellow humans.
This holiday season, no matter what faith you practice or what your family situation is, reach out to your fellow human beings that may be stressed or are alone. It only takes a phone call or a text to invite them over for dinner on Christmas or for them to celebrate a whole new celebration and traditions within Hanukkah. Even if you don’t celebrate traditionally or at all, make your own traditions and holiday fun on something you want to do. Just because we come from different scriptures or beliefs should not create a wall between the prevention of stress and loneliness. By inviting someone in to not be alone you are practicing what you preach, you are doing good. So as i try to spread a cause for caring this season within my social groups and family, i ask you stop the shopping, stop the over done practices of lights and flashy things and try to spread compassionate vibes to show you care.
By Showing that you care for thy neighbor, family and friends it makes this holiday just a dash brighter for everyone.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, many families will gather to celebrate the joyful time of being together. Where the little ones will be watching the parade with Grandma and Grandpa and seeing the big floats go by. Where many will sit around the table, sharing a meal and recounting the joy of being together and how thankful they are to have that Aunt Susie or Uncle Tom in their life. Life would be so grand.
This is a Hallmark illusion
The fact of the matter is that not all families are perfect. Some have uncles and aunts who don’t know where the line ends and that it doesn’t bend for egotistical ideologies during the holidays. Some grandparents want the holidays to be a catered dinner where they are the star of the show, even tho their isn’t an audience to feed them what they want. The illusion of families being perfect for the holidays where every grudge and nasty deed preformed in the year gets put aside for one day is a dream that only a child could conjure up. I like to think when we start our own families that we aspire to this ideal but do not let it takeaway reality of what goes on in the world. Families are not perfect.
I can remember from my own personal experiences of how thanksgiving use to be for my family. It was always a rush to eat so everyone could go up to my uncles for desert and drinks. My mother would be so stressed to cook, clean and be up there that it ruined the holidays for her. She catered to some that would never be grateful for her work like i was. Going to my uncles wasn’t that great either; always stuck at the kids table, always the butt of a joke, never an enjoyable time no matter the holiday. This was coming from a 12 year old kid who could see through the stress that was piled up on my parents to put on a meal just so everyone could go get hammered at a house of nightmares. I still cant stand my family, but i decided that family doesn’t have to mean they are a part of my holidays.
Ever since freshman year of college, we have not invited family over to dinner and we have only gone to one place afterwords, but it is nothing that would leave a stress mark on my mind. We hang out at houses and even with the newest trend of “Friendsgiving” we get to be with friends from near and far to celebrate each other during this time for thanks. Holidays have become more enjoyable since we focused more on who really makes up our family. My mother will always take a moment during the dinner to show the fact that she can finally enjoy the holidays once more, something i think should never be overlooked.
In my opinion, family are the ones who stand by you in the good the bad and the ugly, they are the people who lean on you and you lean right back when needed, they never have to be blood but they damn sure feel like it. This is why we still invite people over. We still have a standing invitation for anyone from either work, school or anywhere in between to join us for a holiday meal if they have no place to go. In the years since some have taken up the offer and really add an enjoyable tone to the dinner. Less stress for mom is always a plus as well.
I guess that what i am trying to convey is the fact that even tho you have family members doesn’t mean they are family. The real family you have are those who you deem worthy of having the title of “Uncle”, “Aunt” or any other title you like to give. People say you cant pick your family, i say different. If anything you cant pick the good ones but you chip away the bad ones.
Holidays are meant for peace on earth and good will towards all.
Its OK to make some man made peace yourself.