The Reason For The Season

“That’s not what the holiday season is about for me.  I would much rather my kids learn that they should be blessed to be a blessing to others.”

The winter holidays can be a trying time for some. Besides the fact that the days are shorter, the weather a little colder, from Thanksgiving through the New Year, people are celebrating, shopping, and eating.

I lost my mother ten years ago. The holidays have not been the same since. No matter how much family you are around, you always can tell who is missing. I started reconsidering how I wanted to spend the holidays recently. Especially since my birthday falls the day after Christmas. While I love holiday decorations, I realize that is not the reason for the season.

One of the things I used to love to do was turn on the Motown Christmas Album (the one with the purple cover from 1970-something), make hot chocolate, and decorate the tree. My mom would pull out all of the lights and we would blast the music while we decorated. It wasn’t about the decorations, it was about doing something together as a family.

We never worried about how many gifts we got. I didn’t need to wake up on Christmas to gifts piled high to the ceiling. There was always those one of two things that I wanted to get and I liked the smile on other people’s faces when I got them the thing that they wanted. As I got older, I stopped buying gifts for adults and it became more about the kids.

Now, I have no desire to wake up early on Christmas and open gifts.

A pile of Christmas gifts in colorful wrapping with ribbons.

I’ve seen posts on social media about parents that go into debt buying gifts. Nothing about that appeals to me. Nothing about standing in long lines or making my way through crowds appeals to me. I also don’t want my kids to think that in order for them to be a good person, they have to buy someone the biggest, most expensive gift.

That’s not what the holiday season is about for me.  I would much rather my kids learn that they should be blessed to be a blessing to others.

What if you didn’t do what people traditionally do for the holidays? What if it wasn’t about what gifts you bought or how much you spent?

I’ve been focused on making each holiday a reassessment of where I am in life. Why wait until the New Year to make resolutions? I don’t know about you, but I always forget what I resolved to do after a few months.

From this point on, I would prefer to travel or be at a destination for the holidays. I no longer feel like I have to host elaborate holiday dinners or do any of those frilly things that come with the holidays. Each year, I want to do something different. Whether it’s travel abroad, or rent a room at a bed and breakfast, or it’s hide away at my own house for a staycation eating nothing but hot wings and cheese sticks.

The holidays should be what you make it. And you should be happy. That’s really all that matters in life.

How do you spend your holidays?

~Tamara

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