I hope everyone in the States had a marvelous Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I love the idea of a day set aside to be thankful for the people and things and events that have shaped our lives for the better. To be thankful for what we have and for where we're headed. What I can't stand is how chaotic it's become! I noticed it two years ago, how Thanksgiving seems to now be rebranded into "Black Friday Eve". Now, I remember people going Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving when I was a kid. Heck, that was when we got our Christmas tree. But lining up at [name a big box store] at 3pm on THANKSGIVING?!?! That's when lunch is in full swing and dinner guests are just arriving!
I'll rant no more.
For now :)
But seriously, everywhere you turn there's mentions of the "chaos" of the season and the "rush and hurry" to "shop 'til you drop". Why?
When did the holiday season become a marketing tool?
I know, I know, YEARS ago, right? Thanks to social media, however, it seems that this attitude has rooted deep and pulled us down into the quagmire it's created.
A lot of people tend to view the days before December as a ramping up, a bit of calm before the storm of shopping and parties and gifting and traveling. That's all true. I LOVE buying and making Christmas gifts. I LOVE going to and hosting Christmas parties. I love, love, LOVE giving gifts (and, let's be honest, getting them). This year we even get to partake in the great holiday exodus and I'm especially looking forward to that. What I DON'T love is the presumed stress of it all.
It's easy to look at the ticking clock and the dwindling calendar and think, "Oh GOSH I haven't bought the ham yet!!" "Aunt Ethel's sweater isn't in stock!" "What am I going to do if they sell out of season whatever of Game of Thrones???!!!"
Take a deep breath.
Go make some tea.
I'm going to tell you a secret. None of that matters.
Not. One. Bloody. Bit.
Parties can be potlucks and gifts can be handmade. If Wherever is sold out of Whatever, give a gift card telling the recipient what you were going to get them and instruct them that THIS card is for that item (or whatever else they would rather have).
I'm the world's worst at wanting everything to be Martha Stewart perfect but let's face it: I don't have her film crew! They wouldn't fit in this tiny box anyway. The point is, the holidays are about BEING together. About ENJOYING one another. About GIVING and LAUGHING and RECEIVING the kindness and love and joy of OTHERS.
Go ahead. Take another deep breath. Brew another spot of tea.
Now, instead of plunging into December, why don't we wade in gently.
Happy Monday, Dears.