Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Here are we are. No sooner did we finish the Halloween candy did the Christmas decorations and sale events appear in stores. One Holiday morphs into another then they are gone. We melt into the ice & snow of January, the festivities far behind us.

Does time really go faster the older we get? Or consider that mass merchandising and marketing no longer allow us to enjoy the Holidays - one at a time? What if we just said NO? Halloween has become an adult holiday. We had fewer kids than ever at our door and more 16 year olds with plastic bags from the Giant. We live on a hill, so anyone that treks up our driveway gets the treats. But I think that this is no longer a day for children.

The leaves are waning and the feel of fall is crisp in the air. Thanksgiving has become a precursor to Black Friday. Salesalesales. Here they come. The hunt of the best bargain. I stay home. No way will I get involved in that craziness. I'll shop online or take an  L-tryptophan induced nap. Or go to the gym. Again marketing and merchandising trips that trigger for us to go - heaven forbid - TO THE MALL. As you may have guessed I am not a mall shopper. I like the feel of the Open Air Malls so much better. Maybe they just let you breathe.

Here comes Christmas. Here it comes with all the stress, extended family issues, the sniping about never getting a "good" gift. Can we just stop it before it starts please? You have the power to do so. If you haven't given yourself permission to stop the insanity - do it now. This year let each holiday become an opportunity to cherish the moment, cherish the time we all have together. At our home we have an annual family Christmas Eve gathering. We have wonderful food, good wine, all the kids together growing up so fast. It is my favorite time of the year.

The most important thing this holiday season is to immerse ourselves in the time we have together. We don't really know what the next moment holds, what the outcome will be. Merchandising and marketing have ingrained and tapped into our triggers while Reality TV has taught us that bad behavior is acceptable. Turn off the TV, turn on to your life. Celebrate each moment we have been given and cherish it like it never ends. Prepare for the holidays not with a Christmas Club but with an open heart and the spirit of giving. Renew, reevaluate and strengthen the bonds of family that hold us together. Hold them all close. These are the gifts we all have been given - recognizing them may not be that easy.

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