“The Holidays”

This may seem like a dorky post, but to me, if you’re going to talk about living in healthy balance, you’ve got to talk about “The Holidays”. IS there a time of year that is more out of whack and unbalanced??

You know what I’m talking about. The pressure to buy, buy and fret about the fact that Christmas is only “so many days away” seems to grow every year. Does this sound familiar: “Are you…. yet?”; “Do you…yet?”; “Is your…. yet?”? Maybe guys don’t hear this as much, but I’m betting you know what I’m saying.

The whole emphasis seems to be on “rushing” or “speeding up…life”, and at some point, I think we have to push back.

I don’t know, but doesn’t it seem like over the holidays an awful lot of people seem either totally stressed out, mad, sick, broke,  and/or fat?

Do I sound like Scrooge? Don’t get me wrong. I do love so many things about this time of year. I love the “opportunity”… if I take advantage of it… to really share a meaningful time with my family and good friends. I love the songs, sitting by the fire, the decorations, the quiet as well as festive times when family and friends are together, and … pumpkin pie with ice cream.

But I could do without the “stressed out, mad, sick, broke and fat” part.

Given that I no longer have little children at home, I recognize that I’m in a better position to say this than some, but I think we should all slow down for the Holidays… and prioritize what is really important to us.

Not a new idea, but remarkably hard to accomplish. And frankly, I think little kids would be so much happier if Mom and Dad were actually “available” for them… to take a walk… to cook something fun…. to read some wonderful stories… to sit by the fire and have hot chocolate. You get the drift.

Decorating? Bring the garden indoors… pine, paperwhites, a few sparklies…it’s so simple, refreshing, smells good, and… is so easy (and relatively cheap).

Christmas cards? You’re on your own. I love receiving them and worry that if I stop sending them, I won’t get any. But the truth of the matter is that they do take a lot of time and they’re expensive.

Presents? Again, you’re on your own. But I wonder if any of us really needs all that stuff.

For Christmas, all I’m asking from my husband and sons is that they promise to read this blog for the year that I’m going to write it. After all, the reason I’m writing it is for my boys, and if they don’t read it…. what’s the point?

Little kids are harder, I know. But why does a kid need 10 presents? And if you haven’t already, check out The Story of Electronics video in the “Uh Oh, It’s Started Already” post (November archives) before you go buying all sorts of stuff that will be out of date in 18 months anyway.

Charity. There are so many opportunities and so many people in need that you don’t have to look far to find something worthwhile to give of your time and/or money.

Spirituality. Whether in the form of a communal, formal religion… or in a more individual, private experience…. we all would benefit from spirituality in our lives in order to reflect upon what’s important in life.

What else? Oh yeah, TRADITION…. for us,  I pull out some old favorite books that our boys (and I) loved when they were younger and put them in the livingroom by the fireplace (away from the TV).

I get out our favorite DVD’s and put them in a basket by the TV.  One we always watch is “Miracle on 34th Street”… Zan always cries and I always laugh at him… it’s TRADITION!

Now all I need, is a chance to have my most favorite people around at some point during the season.

OK. So that’s it.

My next post will be on “emergency measures” and an “emergency kit” that you can keep on hand to stay healthy during the holidays; or actually, any stressful time in your life.

p.s. In answer to the “yet” questions? Not even close.

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