’tis the season

Season’s Greetings! Isn’t it lovely to see all those lights? Patti and I agree that Christmas lights are probably our favorite decorations. They’re festive and bright and twinkly. Quiet and radiant. I love them.

Christmas marketing started awfully early this year. It was really disturbing to see Christmas advertising before Halloween. Aren’t Christmas festivities supposed to officially begin the day after Thanksgiving? Can’t we just celebrate one holiday at a time here? Undoubtedly, the state of our financial markets helped to dictate the early campaign to push consumers to BUY BUY BUY. It’s just disappointing. The emphasis on consumerism and that push to purchase has been out of control for a long time. The sad thing, in my opinion, is that people are literally buying into it. They’re buying the notion that purchasing is the key to creating happiness. That getting someone that hot new product or that expensive item, is the most emphatic way to say “I love you.” I ponder how it used to be, before credit cards were the norm. The simplicity of it all. The real connection between what we could afford and what we purchased. But those days ended a long time ago…and now, look at the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

A friend recently said that he wasn’t going to let the push for purchasing ruin his holiday spirit. He loves Christmas and he loves celebrating this season, and he said he was going to make it his own, regardless of incessant TV advertising or the early onset of merchandisers’ holiday music. He didn’t want capitalist pushers to mar his spirits. I think this is the key for all of us. Plus, we can all relate to that sense of social pressure during the holiday season. It doesn’t matter what religion we may practice or whether we purchase each other gifts. It’s that whole sappy notion that is somehow driven into us that we’re SUPPOSED to be festive and happily family-focused during this season. Unfortunately, that notion backfires and often creates an opposite effect: melancholy, because the truth is, it often doesn’t pan out that way.

If you’re among those that are feeling that pressure this season, don’t let it get you down. Remember that the true spirit of the season is about love and peace and charity. There are plenty of individuals out there that have tragic family histories, or at the very least, truly dysfunctional families. (We hear that term all the time and wonder what functional is supposed to look like, right?) It’s not about pretending that your family is where it’s at. Or buying things you can’t afford and making yourself miserable with the debt later. My friend is right. Celebrate the season your own way. Allow yourself to bask in whatever makes you feel happy and warm and fuzzy. Know that you are loved and allow yourself to bask in the glow of that feeling. Surround yourself with those that bring out your sense of gratitude. And while you’re at it, donate what you can, be it time or money, to a cause you support.

BTW. Our Guest Column this month features a greeting from Anne Made Cards. There’s still time to get greeting cards if you haven’t already. Her cards are fabulous. Check it out!

Peace on Earth. Good will to women. And all those that love them. 🙂

DTBF!
Johanna