As the holidays keep moving closer, just wanted to check on how you were doing. Now is about the time that I start to feel overwhelmed, and ready to pull out my hair. Planning for gifts, planning for dinner, and worrying about money are all part of the holidays but it’s also part of the misconception of what the holidays should be about. The holidays of times past were simpler, and thanks to the marketers of today, we have been convinced that more gifts, bigger parties, and the focus on stuff is more important. Don’t let your family lose site of what’s important.
When I think about the holidays of the past, I enjoyed the lights and the food. I have a few gifts that I remember, but not many over the years. I remember things like the women in my grandmother’s tiny kitchen getting dinner ready. I remember plays in the basement with my cousins. I remember playing in the snow, and I remember the little kids table, that lasted until we graduated from college. I remember my aunts and uncles sleeping in the attic, and sleeping with my cousins with the adults yelling from upstairs to go to sleep. I remember traveling to my grandmother’s house from out of state, and going home after the holidays in the snow. I also remember cutting our Christmas tree, and sometimes having to tie it to the wall so it would stand up. So many of these memories don’t come from the store, but they are so important to me.
When I think about things I would like this Christmas, not much comes from the store. I would like to spend the day with my family, with no fighting. I would like to have a nice dinner and watch the Christmas parade on TV, in peace. When it comes to the things I bought for others, I would like to think that they will appreciate the gifts for the year. I would like a clean house, and to get a good night sleep. I want to sing, and enjoy friends and refocus on what’s important. You can’t really buy any of that. What do you really want for the holidays?
As we get closer to the holidays, are you closer to the holiday that will make you happy? If not, step back and think about the holiday that will help make you happy. As I think about my hopes for the holiday, as long as my family is together, that would be enough. My kids might not agree, but it would be okay with me. I like the idea of one “Santa” present, and a couple of stocking things. I must admit that I tend to use the holiday to get things people need, like socks. I also like retro gifts, but I can’t seem to find “soap on a rope” any more. That was my father’s gift yearly, and I think he used it, although I’m not sure.
Regardless, don’t let the holidays get away from you, and bring you down. Don’t let them make you stressed. Take the next week to think about what makes you happy, and make some memories that you and your family will cherish and remember forever. That will help you on your journey to be happy for life.