It’s already happening. The holiday season with its celebrations, expectations, and impositions looms overhead as we progress into the second half of October. And if you’re like me in this season, you’re feeling tired. Perhaps you’re also stressed and swamped, and the leaves haven’t even changed color yet.
Despite our best efforts, the holiday season is almost inevitably packed. On top of our own expectations (mine are baking with friends, hosting guests, sending gifts, writing letters, and attending gatherings), we have everyone else’s, as well. On top of that, corporations and marketers are at our doorsteps asking us to choose them for gift-giving.
So what can we do?
There’s one thing that’s certain: the only people we can change is ourselves. We can’t force others out of their packed schedules or their family hustle. We can only do what we know is best for us– gifting ourselves a season of quietness, quality conversations, generosity, hope, and rebirth. I don’t know about you, but I could really use some of what the holidays are really about. Perhaps our communities will eventually feel the same.
Avoiding overwhelm, breaking the cycle
Our society is in a relentless pattern when it comes to this time of year. We gorge ourselves, inundate each other with gifts nobody needs, exchange invitations, spend too much money, dash from one event to another, gorge ourselves again, and then launch the New Year with ultimatums that we will never do any of that again.
But what if this time could be different? What if we actually stopped the rush? What if we stayed away from the long Black Friday lines? What if we stuck with our budget and continued our self-care practices? What if we ate well and heartily, but without gluttony?
It could happen, but we’ll have to be intentional. No one is going to help us achieve the goal of feeling rested after the holidays. No one is going to ensure that our conversations with loved ones are restorative, or that our time away from work and school leads to rejuvenation.
We have to make it happen.