For me the Christmas season is the best time of the year, but for many others it’s a mad season! All that rushing around shopping for presents and clothes and groceries and planning parties and putting up the Christmas tree and decor can drive people crazy and it becomes a very stressful season!
Sometimes, people stop and wonder whether it is worth it. Well, there are people who will tell you that there is nothing in it. This whirlwind of buying and buying and partying is simply superficial crass commercialism and that isn’t the meaning of Christmas.
That’s true. Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and being reminded of what that means for us. That is the reason for the celebration and often the celebration can get carried away amid the effort to pack in as much celebration as we can within the season. And that explains the rush and this frenzy to buy and buy and party. Nothing really wrong with it but it can get wearisome and sometimes meaningless.
So, people take time out from the merry-go-round of the season. They’ll say, “Ok, this year we are going abroad for Christmas!” Or, have a quiet Christmas at home. Or, like me, join in with someone else who is busy merry-making!
But, I found a way of enjoying the season that fits well with me. I found it by enforced circumstances rather than by choice! As career and other commitments increased it was harder and harder to meet the expectations of the season and gradually I cut down on all the usual activities simply because I couldn’t handle them anymore.
My friends and family managed them better and I just joined them and became a hanger-on! They did all the work and I turned up on the appointed day and at the appointed time and enjoyed myself! I cut down the presents to the barest minimum, getting presents for only close relatives and friends.
As the pace of Christmas slowed, I found, hey, this is better! I began to enjoy the season and decided to pace out the fun instead of cramming it into a couple of heady hours ofparty ing. Also, perhaps, I was growing older and could cut down on the partying!
I take the season slow! Starting early in the month, listening to Christmas music. Then, I visit the old folks because this is the thing to do in the Catholic Indian community which is my background and one of the traditions I have started to follow as I grow older because it’s a concern we often express: “They (the old folks) may not be around next Christmas!”
Before they go, we visit them. At least, we looked out for them when they were alive! Then, I’ll plan a couple of visits out with friends. In between, do some shopping. And, finally spend Christmas with family.
And, with the stress taken out, it is an enjoyable season. I love it!