Wow, it’s hard to believe it is now November, and the holiday season is only about eight weeks away. Soon, snow will be falling on a regular basis, as children build forts and throw snowballs at one another. Of course, this will only be if southern Alberta gets a traditional amount of snowfall, something that has been quite sporadic these days.
Christmas carols will begin to sneak their way into the course of musical playlists more and more, as the days get closer to the holidays.
Shops are already starting to sell holiday decorations, as commercials on televisions and on the radio are kickstarting gift buying blitzes for young and old. The holidays are among us, so to speak, and the days are numbered until Dec. 25, for those celebrating the Christian holiday. A day many look forward to each and every year, as others frown upon its eventual arrival.
Halloween has just passed, as Remembrance Day is just over a week away. But, like clockwork, in September the commercial marketplace starts ringing in the New Year, while providing customers with a taste of holiday cheer.
Our consumer society does not live in the moment. It looks to the days ahead and doesn’t dwell on the past, unless the past is profitable. That’s why tradition is sold left, right and centre.
Stress afflicts many of today’s holiday shoppers before even fall is officially the season. Instead of just enjoying the falling leaves and the ghouls and goblins dressing up for tricks or treats — we begin to be bombarded with the stress of ‘Tis the season.
The holidays can be a delight but it can also be hectic for those stressed out by its demands and perhaps for those, who have lost family members. But, either way, the holidays should be a time to celebrate, for those who indeed celebrate it.
How can we celebrate the moment, when we are persuaded into celebrating holidays months from now? Somehow we do it, each and every year. It starts on New Year’s Day, then it’s Valentine’s Day, and then St. Paddy’s Day and Easter, then it’s May long weekend, and then it’s summer holidays and Canada Day and then Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Remembrance Day, Christmas and then New Year’s Eve.
A cyclical holiday bonanza. Throw in birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations — you’ve got a heck of a lot of shopping to do, present-wise. But isn’t the present, a gift? Being aware of what’s going on around you, now.
A commercialized holiday calendar has been the norm for decades but somehow we seem to hang in there. There’s a card for this or that and a gift that goes along with it. Perhaps there’s a card for the anxiety-ridden shopper, trying to buy the happiness of those close to him/her. But, we’ve become accustomed to it.
Sure, many families make homemade gifts including crafts, baking and the like. Some family members purchase gift cards or event tickets as gifts.
Some choose not to give or receive, similar to the Kranks from the movie starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Just remember, as the holiday season approaches, to enjoy the present, as the ultimate gift. Take time to take a brisk walk in the snow (if there will be any this year), sip a nice cup/glass of your favourite warm or cold beverage, hang out with the one’s you love, make time for yourself, do something nice for someone you know or you don’t know and head into this holiday season with less stress.
Gift-giving shouldn’t be a stress-fest. It should be from the heart and sometimes a nicely wrapped present doesn’t need to come with a bow.