Monday, December 21, 2009

Wanted: a Happy Holiday.

It has been over two and a half weeks since my last drink post (forgive me, AA devotees, for I only open by being lite with borrowed slogan - due to embarrassment for lengthy time between posts).

Dear Readers: I have been neglectful, and I do apologize.

I've been here.
But what have I been doing since that last blog post on the 4th?

I've been spending precious time these last weeks vacillating between getting into the holiday 'spirit' - or not. Trying to decide what holiday spirit is, after all. Is it as the media and marketing realm has been dictating to the masses with ever-increasing greed and success > that holiday spirit equates with shopping till dropping? That more is more and anything less is Scrooge? Recall the days of the popularity of the 'Unplug the Christmas Machine' book? I remember workshops of the same name when that title was first released (about 15 years ago). I'd like to think that the 'unplug' philosophy has made great strides in changing the face of the holidays. Maybe Yes, more likely No. I saw people in Costco buying big screen TVs for presents - that don't smack of any consumer downsizing in shopping habits to me.

The concept of unplugging the machine has recently made a resurgence under the guise of 'cutting back due to the economy'.  
This looks more to blaming the government rather than commercialism, but hey - if it means pointing a middle finger at increased woes caused by the previous admin, I ain't arguing. I look to the future for improvement, though it is a long rough road upon which we must trod before change and recovery becomes apparent.

Ooops, ahem....that be a segue...back to....ah...the holiday machine.
Those who believe in Christmas as a religious time - celebrate it as a season of their devotion and belief. Albeit, even the most solidly God-fearing American may still fall prey to full-on decking of the halls with over-the-top spending. After all...

My own materialistic tendency of holidays past has taken something of a back seat as I move forward towards the looming deadline of December 25th. Instead of making a list and checking it 100 times as to who-gets-what and how-much ---- I've been observing more about the holidays, giving serious thought to the various meanings of it, and making a conscious decision to scale back on the senseless shark-frenzy shopping for it. Sure 'nuff, bought some good stuff (mostly online) for 'the kids', but according to their wants and needs - as opposed to my whim. That was both easy and fun. A tight budget helped to prevent overspending.

I did halve my usual 'list'. Would rather spend time than money. Do the good people in my life want for time spent with me in lieu of a meaningless gift? Will I really get better mileage from re-acquainting myself with those on the obligatory lists - by sharing the gift of time well spent, the quality of an intellectual exchange or belly laughs yucked together?

Not giving in to the been there done that must keep doing it mode of 'making the holiday happen' translates to maximizing, rather than minimalizing - the concept of the commonality of man which is so often purported at this time of year. I actually believe that avoiding the malls and focusing on the people in my life moves me towards making valuable, reasonable and sincere connections with those who are healthy to my being. At the same time, I look to ease out of my life those who are toxic to it. What I wish to have in common with my fellow man, woman, child and animal friend --- is a propensity for joy, as opposed to want of possessions.

A few of my favourite holiday moments thus far (there will be more, I just know it):
- decorating, with DollinkFriendBBB - an evergreen tree growing on the side of our shared roadway. This sparkly tree to be enjoyed by all who drive by.
- going to the local city pond with DollinkDaughterJrs and DollinkGranddaughterLB, where we fed cracked corn to geese whilst exclaiming 'Happy Holidays!' with each toss of a handful of grain.
- the gift of a one-on-one reunion lunch with a fellow student/ acquaintance from high school - after 38 years of no contact.
- chowing down on fresh steamed crab with my DollinkFriendJ and eating desserts with DollinkFriendTtheP.
- heart-to-heart chats in the car with HubbyDear as we run errands.

All this says happy holiday to me.

Simple quiet joys.

It is the very thing that I wish for you.


The Art of Photography said...

Thanks B!
I like this quote...supposedly from Helen Keller; the best things in life cannot be touched or seen.. they must be felt in the heart.

House Dreams said...

you really got me thinking. We halved the gifts, too, and it was still too goal next year is to halve it again.

2nd goal: I need to find more cd's of carols...I need to belt them out along with!

Some VGF (very good friends) give food!