Christmas. Just one week away.
How much a non-day event this becomes the older I get. Not a NON-day actually. Every 24-hour cycle is, technically, a day.
What I should have said is what an ANY day Christmas has turned into over the years. “Special” only because our society and our culture and our religious norms and the calendar itself say it’s so. The requisite time spent with family during the holidays – images of jolly laughter, yuletide carols, warmth and comradery – feels forced, somehow. Contrived. In reality, this time of year is often more stressful and chaotic than it is calming and cleansing. Expectations are high, emboldened by the trappings of social media, for a glitzy, candle-shrouded, Hallmark Cards experience to rival anything Hollywood could muster up on the big screen. We’re bombarded with photographs and images, tweets and postings positively dripping with hygge-inspired loveliness that render our drab, ordinary lives pathetic by comparison.
Here’s an idea. What say we treat every day as special, each day a Christmas? Loving one another, treasuring the earth, showing kindness, embracing gratitude every 24-hour cycle. And for good measure – and for sanity’s sake for ALL of us – let’s shrug off what we think and believe others are doing and how others are living their lives and just focus on what makes US happy for a change?
Now that would be cause for celebration.
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Any holiday is made better by family. If families are feuding or separated by distance, those things can be fixed. We never used holidays to infuse religion, because church and the Christian life is with us every day of the week, so holidays are a rest and a time of gathering our immediate family to us. Extended family is always invited, but if they don’t come, we don’t have hard feelings about it. Here we are watching our offspring do what they do with us or their other families–all 22 of them.