It’s a strange time of year when people pull out boxes full of green, white, and red decorations and lights to adorn their homes. Stranger yet, people cut down trees, bring them into their homes, and decorate them with lights and even more colorful decorations.
And if that’s not enough. We see the same decor everywhere we go, whether it’s the doctor’s office, grocery store, or a restaurant. It’s in the music we listen to and on our televisions. It’s absolutely everywhere. It’s holiday cheer and merriment for all, whether we like it or not. And if we don’t fall into line and accept it, live it, breathe it, and yes, even eat it (it’s called cookies), we are called a Scrooge and scorned for not obeying social protocol.
And for all of us, it’s not a choice. Whether we like it or not, it’s an annual tradition intertwined in the essence of our culture, thanks to the many generations before us.
Now, I, for one, can’t get enough of the holiday spirit. If I had my choice, we’d celebrate Thanksgiving in October like our neighbors in Canada do, giving us even more time to soak it all in. And sometimes I have to ask myself why. Why must I inundate myself with so much frenzy, joy, and merriment? I have to admit, it’s an interesting question. And I think I find the answer somewhere in my past.
Not every holiday memory was perfect, kind, or to be cherished in my childhood. And to make things worse, many of these unhappy memories continued all year long, year after year. But when holiday cheer was real, good, and even magical–well, I can’t think of a better feeling in the world. And perhaps those are the memories and the moments that withstood all the other things I’d rather forget. So now I hold on and try to recreate more holiday cheer year after year.
And then there are those of us who would rather skip the last week of November and go straight to January 2nd. I hear you. But when it’s not a choice, that’s when things get tricky. No choice isn’t a choice. No one likes being forced to do what they don’t want to do.
So, however you prefer to get to January 2nd, just do it. Do what you do–wear earbuds while shopping, order more things on Amazon, and pretend the holidays don’t exist outside your front door. Call a friend. Don’t miss your upcoming appointment with your counselor. Maybe go for more walks. Perhaps now isn’t the time to be social, but maybe it is. I don’t know. Whatever it is, you do you because you know you best.
But have hope! January 2nd is coming. For some, it can’t come soon enough. For others, it can take its time. But either way, a new year is around the corner, full of hope and new possibilities. You do it your way, and I’ll do it my way. Either way, the sun will rise and fall, today will end, and January will arrive.