Holiday fuss and hassle: IS IT WORTH IT?
In the Philippines, Christmas is huge. So huge that decorations come out when the “ber” months start… As in SeptemBER. Yes, that early. So much hype and prep work goes into this holiday that it causes people immense stress. From the holiday traffic, (it gets really bad) to having to spend more money than is necessary on gifts, parties, and, I’m going to be brutally honest, appearances.
Put aside the reason that Christians all over the world celebrate this holiday for a minute. One must recognise that because it is a mainstream event, it has now become commonplace for almost anyone to participate in the gift-giving and Christmas partying that takes place every year. Let’s look at it through rose coloured lenses right now. It’s a season for spending happy times with people you care about. Check. It’s a magical festival for wide-eyed children who believe that Santa Claus is real and whose infectious joy is a wonder itself. Check. It’s a season for sharing and giving. Check. It’s a Christian celebration that affirms the birth of Jesus Christ. Check.
All good things. Remove the lenses and indulge this writer, whose Christmas spirit might have, admittedly, dampened a bit through the years.
Worrying that your gift to someone is not good enough. Check. Stressing out about planning parties and gatherings and inviting people you might not even really care about. Check. Heavy traffic that kills your soul by the minute (remember this?). Check. Overspending and then realising with a sinking heart that this will happen again next year. Check.
This writer isn’t about to pontificate how we should spend our money and effort on anything. Your money, your life. Your time, your effort. As much as that is true, it behooves us (ooh fancy word) to give pause and value to what the holidays mean to us. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, the Lunar New Year, or Ramadan. We can align our values with how we observe and celebrate holidays. Have fun. By all means, enjoy your time with friends, family, and loved ones. Imagine all the memories you create when you do. That’s priceless.
Celebrating the holidays with less hassle, less fuss, and more joy. Check.