What is your favorite holiday? Close your eyes and think of the smells and the sounds. If it’s Thanksgiving, maybe you think of the food. If it’s Halloween, you may think of going to the bars. If Christmas, you may think of the lights on the tree in your living room when you walk down the stairs.
While these are all wonderful things about the holidays, they certainly are not what these days are set aside for. However, this is what the holidays have turned into.
The holidays have easily become more stressful than school or work for many. When home for a holiday, I often find myself either looking forward to all the wrong things like food, presents (don’t act like you don’t think about that) or not having to go to work and being able to sleep in, or I simply want to skip the holiday and head back to normalcy.
Many holiday gatherings end up being elaborate, and some end up going the way no one wanted them to because “Aunt Suzy” said something she shouldn’t have or “Crazy Uncle Paul” showed up on your doorstep.
While trying to deal with all of these hazards of the holidays, many tend to forget what we were taught as children, and what we continue to teach the children we come into contact now. This is not what the holidays are about.
The holidays are for spending time with family, even if Aunt Suzy said Mom’s rolls were hard as a rock and Uncle Paul ends up swinging from the chandelier. These are the things which create memories and stories to tell at holidays to come.
As a society, we have also become so caught up with “the perfect gift” that money has become a factor in holidays. First off, we feel guilty for not buying those we love that Xbox they wanted, which is absurd. Secondly, has anyone else ever noticed that we only drop money in the Salvation Army bucket during Christmas time? I sure have.
The holidays have become times where begging is okay and giving makes the giver superior. This should not be the case.
One should only give if they want to, and would should always be able to receive if they need it. Next time you pass that bucket, drop that dollar in, but remember to do it other times, too, if you can. Next time you smell that turkey, attach the memories of past Thanksgivings to it. Next time you worry about that Xbox remember that your brother will love you anyhow. Next time you want to sleep in until two in the afternoon over winter break, remember that your parents, grandparents and siblings are there too and your attention wouldn’t go to waste if you gave it to them instead of your pillow.
Remember that the holidays are not for you. They are for you to give your attention to those who need it, want it, and deserve it.
Avoid the hazards of the holidays.