Wrapping Up Holidays
The time has finally ended for gift wrapping, but what did we learn about ourselves following this past holiday season?
When it comes to the holidays coming to a close, how are we all faring ? Are there those around us that are having a tough time? Let's think about it… before Halloween ends, we are bombarded with aisles and aisles of commercialized junk pertinent to the next big money maker, right? Big retailers slam us, back to back to back. I have recently come to wonder what really makes for a successful holiday?
Is it togetherness?
Tacky sweater parties?
Good food and baking?
Change in weather?
Lighting of the fireplace?
Enjoyment of seasonal records?
Draped garland around railings?
LED light schemes?
Annual Nutcracker Performance?
What is it really that makes the holiday good versus bad?
I find togetherness can be a good thing, but also bad. For instance, isn’t it refreshing to be around the people who know you best, such as friends and family? This can backfire. Sometimes those who know you best may be the most prying and judgmental . While most may have the best intentions, care greatly about you and your well-being, sometimes the sense of underlying judgment is bothersome … deeply bothersome. Isn’t this just a part of life? Don’t we accept this as the known outcome when we let people into our lives? When we are trusting, open and transparent, those who are closest and dearest are going to want their say so. Alternatively, another solution is total shutout and keeping everything locked up inside. I'm not sure that's for the best. I recently experienced a situation where I asked relatives not to discuss one of my past situations with one another and discovered later on, this request of mine had not been honored. I suppose being the subject of gossip is the risk you take when laying it all out there and being transparent.
I would say holiday baking definitely gets me in the mood and when I do not incorporate some form of baking for the masses in a short window of time, I think I have convinced myself I am not ready for the holiday season . This December, I realized I forgot the recipe for my mom’s cute little sugar cookies. This was a recipe I baked in bulk several times! So this winter, I made zero sugar cookies from scratch, however I did get in a few minutes of modifying cookies with my mother which was determined to decorate. As far as cooking or lending a hand cooking in the group setting, well I was too under the weather. A good, lingering cold can really ruin a good time. Although I wasn’t able to do my usual tasks, it was still nice to be around the hustle and bustle in the kitchens. I'm picturing the scene from Home Alone where the McCallisters realize they overslept and chaoticly load up in the airports shuttles, leaving behind young Kevin in the attic. If you can deal with what some may view as chaos, then you’ll certainly appreciate returning that much more. As my small family was to depart from the extended families gatherings my 17 year old daughter whispered to me, “I'm glad I am an only child.” While the abundance of decorations, music, got chocolate, candies, light displays and colder temps may put us into the holiday spirit, I guess they may also propel us towards a grumpy phase. Those without families may just want to block out all the festivities and melt away in a miserable solitude. If we are stuck in this rut, then whats the way out? I don't know and maybe this is where I insert a disclaimer. I know it is easy to get there and much harder to get off that hamster wheel. I am sure it is helpful to surround yourself with positive and happy people. Music can be therapeutic. I personally find my favorite music played loudly helps me. What about deploying your favorite comedy skits, or settling down to watch your favorite flick? It is hard to keep those spirits up. I've found going for a walk - something I loathe(its so boring)- seems to burn off negative vibes , aggravation , frustration , boredom , while adding refreshment, a blank slate and good vibes. The sore joints and muscles tend to remind me I have done something productive to get off my rump.
In the end, I guess the point is difficult or stressful times are only going to be as bad or as good as we allow them to be. Sometimes, we are the problem … and we are the solution. Figure it out. I have a better understanding of what works for me duating off my own feathers, and hope the same for all my readers. Check in on each other… and of course, Happy New Year.