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Holiday Actions and Reactions

They are nearly here. What I call the “trinity of holidays”.

Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Year’s Eve.

It can be overwhelming. Family vs. No family. Gifts vs. No Gifts. Go out vs. Stay in. So many decisions. What a divider. Does it have to be? I vote a resounding NO!

Many are talking about the commercialism of the holidays. They tie it to Black Friday, August Christmas ads and now €œblack Thanksgiving!€ People are working on holidays. On some level, they are two different things. A-People are working because a company has asked them to with the hopes that people will come shopping.(And some people need the money.) B-And the commercialism or cheapening of the holiday.

It is one thing to talk about commercialism and the holidays. It is another to just get through the holidays! So many bemoan the commercialism of the season and miss out on the coolness of it. I remember a young man one year talking about the people who did not see the religious sentiment of some and how the lights of the season might be the closest understanding of heaven for them. I sat there thinking about that for days. I get it.

Not everyone celebrates the same way. I love the holidays…now. I was not always like that. I went through some rough years before I embraced it. I remember not accepting presents from family members after my parent’s divorce. I recall the feeling of loss after my first marriage dissolved. I tried to participate with friends and some family, but I was lost in everything. I recollect a Christmas morning many years ago and realizing I had become the Grinch, so I got in my truck and drove down to an empty Christmas tree lot and crying. As I looked up I realized there was one small tree leaning up against some pallets. I went over and took it and carried it back to the apartment. I needed Christmas. I needed to tie to my past. I needed something.

I think some of the issues of the holidays are who we are and how we perceive things. Polarity has crept in whether it is holidays or Christmas or sweet potatoes. We forget what it was like to be where others may be now. I get it. Yet the topic on the table is how we do holidays I think.

We somehow decry the commercialism of the holiday often while exercising our own consumerism. Commercialism is the maximizing the profits of a company. Commercialism is a part of capitalism. (I believe in capitalism as opposed to the alternatives.) They walk hand in hand. I believe in capitalism, therefore I believe in commercialism. (Capitalism is market driven.)

I think our problem is we think commercialism has cheapened the holidays. I would submit to you that it is our consumerism that has caused the issue. Consumerism is the encouragement to spend a lot of money on goods and services. To allow pressure and urgency to dictate our ways.

Does it not make sense that if we would just stop buying like that, we would see the end of “commercialized” Christmas? If you ain’t buying they are not spending to get you in. Stores opening on Thanksgiving? Black Friday? We can stop it by just not going.

I used to be a store owner of multiple locations. I wanted you to buy. I was upset when I realized the mall for one of my locations was going to be closed for Christmas and Thanksgiving!

Some years later I realized my value system had changed.

I don’t like the urgency of high shopping days. (Unless I am on the cash register side!) People are having to go to work on holidays because the consumer is embracing the craziness. I get it. Special deals! I think it is not the best idea. (Hey if you participate in it, it is your choice, but there are enough articles out there to convince me your best values will NOT be on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. )

I want my family to be at home or engaged in something and that is my choice. I respect yours. BUT, if you are going to complain about the commercialism of Christmas and when it starts, then stop participating. Simple. STOP!

Me? I will be home with friends and family. My children and grandchildren’s holiday is not and will not be dictated by toys or electronics. (Another pet peeve. Won’t go there. Be a parent ALL year round and Christmas will not be as stressful. Just saying. ) I will be eating turkey and enjoying the grandchildren. I will receive hugs and kisses instead of being run over by crazed shoppers. My choice.

I think people are important and they are a positive value. Let’s make some changes. Let’s make a difference.

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