It's been two weeks since I posted. I was out of town and didn't have anything prepared ahead of time.
Then, well....I wanted to write about the holiday season being upon us now and my feelings about it, but whatever I have to say is rather negative, and I wasn't sure I wanted to go there with you all.
But... since this is weighing very heavy on my heart, I decided to go ahead and write about it.
Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. What kid doesn't love Christmas? Kids have nothing to do but soak it all in. They write letters to Santa, help decorate the tree, eat Christmas cookies and basically spend all their time getting excited about the presents on Christmas morning.
As a young adult and especially as a young parent, I still enjoyed Christmas. I loved doing all the same things that my mom did to make the holiday special. Decorating, baking cookies, buying presents, and playing endless Christmas music on the stereo. It was fun watching how excited my children got during this time of year. I loved participating in the fantasy of Santa and the North Pole and the reindeer an elves. It was still magical.
A few years back though, I got burned out. As my kids got older, the magic seemed to disappear. They no longer believe in Santa and the gifts they wanted became more expensive. But this is not about them. It's not their fault. It is more a cultural thing for me at this point.
Two words -- BLACK FRIDAY.
Giving an actual TITLE to a day for shopping-- treating it like another holiday? The creation of a day where everyone goes out to buy and buy an spend and spend like a bunch of mad people.... I don't remember any Black Fridays when I was younger. What is happening in our world that this day even exists? It is just too much. We have sunk to a new low.
And in this economy, how is everyone paying for all that shit they are buying? CREDIT CARDS. This is what is wrong with our culture. Buy now, pay later. Or not. Go bankrupt instead. If people don't have the money now, what makes them think they will have it later? What ever happened to only buying stuff we could actually afford?
Is this what Christmas is supposed to be about?
I know, I know. I don't have to make MY Christmas about this, and why should I care how others choose to spend their Christmas? I care because it affects everyone. Materialism and the focus on STUFF as a source of happiness is just plain wrong. That's why our world is the way it is. People are disconnected and feeling empty. They fill this void by shopping for STUFF.
Shopping is something we do all year long anyway. Why can't we have one time of year when that is NOT the focus?
What if we all boycotted shopping for one Christmas season? Just imagine how that would look. If everyone just focused on their relationships and their communities, what would that look like?
I don't give a damn about supporting the economy by shopping. I do give a damn about supporting my family and my community by not encouraging everyone to go into debt.
I don't know..... the Christmas season just shines a light on all this for me, and it makes me depressed. I find it hard to get excited. I am trying. I am going through the motions. I am trying to keep it sane in my own little world.
I do love baking Christmas cookies and sharing them with my family and friends. I take a tray to our veterinarian's office and the doctor's office, and I love seeing how happy that makes them. I enjoy buying little treats for my co-workers and my kids' teachers. I do enjoy shopping for just the right gift for my special people, and I don't overspend.
I love spending a foggy morning at the Christmas tree farm, choosing a tree, drinking hot cider and riding in Santa's sleigh, even if the kids don't believe anymore. I enjoy the lights on the houses and I adore all the holiday music.
I'm keeping the traditions in my own little family and trying to be cheerful.
I'm thinking about starting some new traditions too, to help myself and my family better focus on giving and community. We do all the donation things that come up, but I'm thinking of some larger scale volunteerism. Something has to change. I really don't like feeling like the Grinch!
How do you stay focused on the good parts of the holiday season?