Monday, November 28, 2011

Joy to the world, er, I mean to me

What joy do the holidays, er, let's face it, I mean Christmas. What joy does Christmas bring to you?

I ask because my Twitter buddy Robyn shared this status update yesterday: "Remember, people, the holidays are conquered one day at a time. Do a little every day and you'll get through."

I LOVE Christmas. I love them so much that I had my outdoor twinkle lights turned on at my house before Thanksgiving this year. The idea of slogging through, or approaching the season with the marauding energy of Attila the Hun, makes my skin crawl. This is the time of year when I want to slow down so I can savor the smell of the tree, reflect on the holiday greetings hanging from the mantle, feel the anticipation of Christmas morning, when my carefully selected presents are finally opened. I want to wring every last moment of joy from them.

But I don't do anything that I don't enjoy. (This is why I don't have kids, and am not a lawyer or investment banker.)

Apparently neither does Robyn's friend Laura, who wrote early in the virtual Facebook discussion, "When some part of the holidays starts to feel like a wretched chore, it's time to drop or change it. Seriously."

Amen* to that! So I "liked" it.

And I started to think, "What are the parts of Christmas that bring me joy? Am I doing all of them?"

Here's my list of holiday joys:
  • Having and seeing outdoor light displays, from the ridiculous to the serene
  • Browsing elaborate holiday displays; it doesn't matter what is on the display - ornaments, candy, socks - if there is a Christmas feel and an abundance of items on the display I'm all over it like a moth to a flame
  • Researching unique - but not extravagant - gifts for, and then shopping for family and friends
  • Elaborately wrapping gifts and artfully displaying them under the tree
  • Baking cookies, (but not eating them so I give them all away)
  • Listening to and singing traditional carols
  • Choosing, decorating, and then watching the tree (mine is lit as I write this)
  • Opening and displaying holiday greetings that arrive by mail (The Golden Rule or karma or whatever, dictates that I then need to send cards)
  • Spending time with my family - opening gifts, eating special foods, and playing with our new toys
What brings joy to you at the holidays? Are you getting enough of it this year? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, or head over to my Facebook page to add your $0.02.

*Does the Christian alternative to Facebook have an "Amen to that" button instead of the "Like" button? It should.

1 comment:

Robyn Davis Sekula said...

Hi - I'm the Robyn in the article! My reason for posting what I did is not so much that I dread Christmas. It's more that I feel the weight of responsibility for all the things I am expected to do. I do cards for about 250 people, and while a lot of people might find that to be a chore, I actually look forward to sending them and getting cards back. I just can't do it all in one day, or even in one week. I find it enjoyable IF I do it a few at a time. If I order them early (which I did) and address about 20 per day, I can get them done in a month. I really, really look forward to the parties we attend in December. That's just pure fun. What I don't like is when I delay it all, and leave all the shopping until mid-December and have to do that on top of the cards all at the same time. I WANT to do all this, but I only enjoy it in a manageable way.
What I HATE about Christmas is the music. I detest almost all Christmas music, except classical. I just find it ridiculously sappy, and it is EVERYWHERE. Drives me crazy. But also out of my control, largely.
I like your philosophy, though. I do think cutting out things you do not enjoy is the way to go, with most anything you can get away with, Christmas or no.