I love staying home during the holidays. My friends can’t figure this out. They say I should be out shopping and hopping from mall to mall. After all, after Thanksgiving, shopping malls all across the United States really bloom for the holiday. We are, of course, talking about Santa Claus, Christmas displays, Christmas music, faux winter wonderlands all over the country, the whole nine yards I can only say ‘no thanks’ to all this. I’ve never been big on hopping in my car so I can get stuck on the highway will thousands of other holiday celebrants, rushing into malls cheek to jowl with others looking to suck in the ‘essence of the season,’ or listening to the same tired holiday songs over and over again If you say I am jaded, I can live with that. Remember, ‘jaded’ to you, is ‘being real’ to others.
I might come off as pessimistic or skeptical but the older I get, the less important surface appearances become to me. I just have less and less tolerance for phony surface appearances. Substance is very important to me now. And that is what grates me about the way holidays are celebrated in the USA now. There’s just something very phony and sad about the all the plastic Santas, the black Thursday crushing crowds, the endless sales and holiday hype. To my eyes, it’s all about selling. The holiday season, for all its festive colors and uniform cheer, is just one giant excuse to lift retailers into the black. Disappointing. Before you call me a grinch, please open a book and read up on how the holidays were celebrated in the 1700s and earlier. Back in those days, the holidays were a special time of gift-giving and community celebration because the rest of the year had been hard. The rest of the year saw people sowing, cultivating, fertilizing, and otherwise working hard(and investing in gold what’s left for savings). When the fall comes, it’s all about harvesting the fruits of your labor. There was a genuine sense of achievement and community there. It wasn’t a time to be milked for profits-like now. Back then, the holiday cheer people displayed was genuine since you can sense the relief people had, and they looked forward to the relaxation the winter brings to contemplate their plans for the next year. My main plan is to speed up my computer though, it’s becoming slower and slower(which I feel is done on purpose by PC manufacturers). Searching on Google quickly resulted in a few good tips(like on http://www.speed-up-pc.org
I stay home in the holidays because I celebrate the season the way it’s supposed to be celebrated-focusing on gratitude, contemplating what went right, and figuring out how to learn from challenges. You don’t need a trip to the mall for that.