Last year, during the Christmas holidays, I read a lot of posts from people disillusioned by all of the commercialism so prevalent during the holiday season. Please don’t despair! Just because the holidays seem to have been co-opted by commercial interests doesn’t mean that the true spirit of the season has to be lost! It doesn’t matter what religion you practice or if you don’t practice any religion at all. There is still something beautiful to be shared and en-JOY-ed during this time of year. Here are some points to ponder:
- We often get so caught up in our daily routines that every single day seems to be the same day & time just flies by without our noticing. During the holiday season, though, things start to look a lot different than on our “ordinary” days. Lights, colorful decorations and joyful music suddenly appear just about everywhere giving us the opportunity to be drawn out of the dream of our daily routines. Take advantage of this opportunity to truly “be there” and to reflect on your life.
- I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to develop a negative attitude towards the world and the people I encounter throughout the year. Everyone seems so distant and self-centered and the news is always bad. But during the holiday season, a different spirit seems to permeate – not necessarily other people or the world in general, but within myself. I don’t know if it’s the pretty lights or the music or if it’s just the simple fact that I am now thinking about giving gifts to others instead of just thinking of myself as I do for most of the rest of the year. Whatever it is, I start to see people differently and my heart is filled with love instead of mistrust, disdain or indifference. Maybe I should reflect on this & ask myself if my life might be happier and more meaningful if I looked at people through the lens of the Holiday Spirit all year long. In other words, maybe the problem is me and not them.
- The winter holidays are very interesting from a psychological perspective in that this is the time of the year when the days of sunlight are so short, everything is mostly grey and dead looking. And, yet, this is the time of year when humans choose to celebrate their most festive and extravagant holidays! If this doesn’t speak of a great spirit of Hope & Faith, I don’t know what does. Think about it: If suddenly everything that supplied you with your life’s sustenance was suddenly dying and disappearing, wouldn’t the sane thing be to hoard as much as you could get your hands on? Instead, we prepare great feasts and give everything away. Think about this deeply.
So, don’t despair! Sure a lot of people are looking to make lots of money from the holidays – it only makes good business sense. But good business sense has nothing to do with the true Holiday Spirit. As stated in #3 above, the holiday season is really all about a glorious foolishness and madness wherein human beings choose Hope & Faith over Fear & Uncertainty! So, let’s all try to take advantage of the season to go a little crazy & to take a look around at the world and at each other and see if maybe there isn’t a little Love, Joy & Hope to be had.