Have you ever noticed that what is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year” seems to generate a lot of frustration and hard feelings that sometimes betray the worst in us as a species community?
Christmas seems to be the worst time for this, doesn’t it? Other holidays can be similar in some ways, at some times, but between sending cards, buying gifts, decorating, baking, planning and attending get-togethers, spending money you may not have, traveling – all that noise while trying to hold down the same work and home life that you’ve been used to (e.g. spoiled by) throughout the rest of the year – that’s the kind of thing that makes running a gauntlet full of life-threatening obstacles and deadly blades seem like a welcome reprieve.
That’s probably because all the negative emotions generated by this “garland gauntlet” have the effect of wearing a person’s patience down until the potential to snap becomes a very real danger. Add to that the fact that some people want to snap, because they have no other way to blow off steam, and you have a real recipe for holiday shenanigans, “nightly news”-style.
I remember the year my sister and I opened all of our presents before my parents got up in the morning; in fact, we woke them up to thank them and we got in huge trouble. I can’t speak for my sister, who is five years older, but I was too young to know any better and have a long history of doing things without really thinking them through first. But hey, it was a different time and a different paradigm.
I also remember the year my sister and my mom got into a brawl that took down the Christmas tree in our house. Not a good year for that tree.
Over time, the four of us became the three, then the two, and then there was the first year that Thanksgiving was skipped entirely in favor of a football game; I had been given up on completely.
I have good memories of past holidays too, but all it takes is a few really bad ones. The past few years have been great, and I know this year will be really good because of where I will be and who I will be with. Don’t get me wrong – I like the holidays just fine for what they are, but my very favorite holiday is a paid day off for no other reason then I felt like taking it. There’s no obligations, no stress, no lines or traffic to fight – just a pot of coffee to work my way through, a bag of bread, and a jar of natural peanut butter.
And a video game, for once.
What do you think? Aren’t the holidays somewhat overrated? I’ve actually invented a new holiday that started last year, and it has nothing to do with gifting – it’s just a good time with friends and family, a large meal, sweet wine and dark beer – isn’t that really what the holidays are about?
This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.
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- Memory of a Holiday Past (Daily Prompt on WordPress) | 365 Days of Thank You
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