As I look around, noticing the turn in season- Black Friday has come and gone, and Christmas replaced turkey day hype in the blink of an eye. I notice my angst with this realization, as Christmas themed consumerism is poured down our throats. It tastes like peppermint eggnog and tacky sweaters. It smells like pine trees and that smelly floral perfume a relative got you two holiday seasons ago. From one perspective, this whole thing could look pretty damn bleak- amassing credit card debt to buy gifts for those you want to impress but wouldn’t really give a shit about you if you weren’t throwing stuff at them, working long holiday hours to keep up with the hungry holiday demands and insane frenzy of shoppers and greedy children in toe, throwing all the family baggage under the rug for the sake of a holiday card of plastered smiles and an image that says “Hey look, we’ve got it together!”
Though, putting cynicism aside, I look at the beauty in the changing seasons. The days have become shorter, night falls heavier upon us. The damp ground mattes the leaves as they collect in clumps around the dark grey asphalt. I notice that the animals are quieter, and nature’s speed is slow and steady in it’s process of death and decay before spring’s triumphant renewal. I notice that we have a desire to be indoors more of the time, and a desire to be close with our loved ones and feel warmth of our bodies and warmth in our hearts during these winter days.
The rhythms of nature instruct us in our lives, and winter calls for slowing down and reflection. The spirit of the holiday season truly is all about checking in and taking our internal inventory as the year comes to a close, as well as rekindling the bonds between us and our loved ones taking time out of our busy year to show them our love and appreciation.
As the holidays are encroaching upon us, remember what it’s all about and don’t let the unending array of catalogs, advertisements, and holiday sales suck your spirit and wallet dry. There’s truth to the saying that money can’t buy happiness or love because it’s really your time, attention, and affection that people really are after.