I thought this would be a great segment for me to write about especially since I have used so much Dr. Seuss within my posts. So I will try and write 12 of the problems I have with the holiday season. After that I will try and possibly write the 12 good things. I don’t know that I can come up with 12 positives but I have an imagination so I am sure I can figure something out.
Grinch Day #1 – Rat Race
I hate the rat race which the holiday season has become. It begins around Thanksgiving and Black Friday but each year it seems to move up. For some reason it is the time of year when everyone is trying to cram something in.
Everywhere you turn there are advertisements trying to sell you something. It also amazes me how all these ads say this is the lowest prices of the year, limited time, buy now before they are gone, just anything related to now, now, now. They want you to come in because they know once you are through the door the chances you are going to spend money are pretty good. It is not so much that I have a problem with businesses advertising, but the amount and the seemingly in-your-face style of the advertisements does bother me. Why not just keep it simple? We all know why, it is a competition. Everyone is competing for your business and if they can get you to remember their name you are more likely to go to their business.
I can remember a time when the sales began after Thanksgiving and then there was a period of calmness until about the week before Christmas and then it all picked right back up. If only we could go back to the good old days.
You also have every school and organization trying to host some type of event during this time. For children in school you have band concerts, choir concerts, plays, and sport banquets. This doesn’t even include all the actual education based events like finals and ACT/SAT testing. The smaller kids have their own plays or presentations that they put on for the parents. Then there is the holiday parties in the class rooms and a seemingly large amount of holiday related crafts that the children make. At least for me, it just becomes too much and I just want a break from it all.
Now you have to add in any church activities that you may also attend. There are more children’s plays or performances. There is probably a holiday celebration of some sort held and then you may get extra religious events (masses, meetings,…) as well. I do understand that for some religions this time of year is supposed to be special but simplicity can be more impactful than grandiose gestures. So why not keep it simple. Keep the message you want to send simple and concise rather than large programs and multiple meetings and parties.
And finally you have holiday parties hosted by friends and families. I think there should be a limit on the number of holiday parties that can be hosted in any one city. Everyone should need to get a permit and once they are all gone you cannot host a party. Then that would limit the number of parties I feel obligated to attend. Actually to be honest I don’t feel obligated to attend any of them but my wife does and I want to support her. So I go and try and keep my happy face on for the entire time. I have conversations with weird aunts and uncles. I get to pretend that I am so happy to see people who say they are related to us but I have never seen them before in my life. All of this just adds to the fake and unauthentic holiday season.
If the season is really about celebrating the end of the year and whatever your religious beliefs are then why not make it more about having more time to reflect on the past. Slow things down and allow people to spend their time with the people who have made a difference to them, not only that year but their whole lives. Let them feel the reverence not the race.