Enjoying the Holidays
As it gets closer to any given holiday, there is a sense of excitement. Especially with the fun ones - like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Year's. There is so much to do, so much to see. Unfortunately, for many people it is also a time of sensory overload. It can bring out the best or worst in us all. For an introverted person, it can be a nightmare. And even the most organized person can get stressed out with the growing list of tasks to accomplish.
But I wonder, really, why it ever gets like this in the first place? I mean, holidays have been celebrated for several hundred years. Maybe not as official holidays per se, but celebrated nonetheless. I suspect it has a lot to do with our generation of technological advancements. Why, just 100 years ago, Christmas gifts consisted of homemade knitted clothing and maybe an orange or some nuts, maybe a simple toy or two. Without electronics, there were no greeting cards to mail, hanging lights to string up outside, or last-minute flights to your hometown for the holidays. Strange, isn't it?
When you think about our basic needs for happiness, they include things like shelter, food, and company. Everything else is extra. People from several hundred years ago understood this and loved to share food, have lengthy conversations, and practice their religion as part of social gatherings whatever the occasion. So does technology help facilitate the acquisition of these needs, or distract us from what's really important?
I think it can be a little of both. Because technology has certainly made it easier to have our basic needs met, BUT it is so easy to get carried away with the latest and greatest. This includes entertaining and with gift giving/receiving.
But the greatest gift we can ever hope to give each other for any holiday is really to spend time with one another. Since holidays were designated as a means of taking time of our schedules to reflect on some aspect of what the day was meant for, there is no reason to go overboard. The retail world tries to persuade us otherwise, but that is all just for temptation's sake. Most anything can be done in moderation; and with a selfless attitude we can continue to seize the moment and build memories with others, perhaps even sharing God's love with others, or celebrating with fellow believers. None of this can be possible, however, if we don't have the right attitude, so lots of positive thinking and the ability to take things as they come is necessary, otherwise it will become a mindless chore. When that happens, stress and negative feelings are sure to follow.