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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why Bother to Celebrate the Holidays?

I don't have cable TV to watch news broadcasts. I don't read the newspapers.  I avoid getting involved in social media complaining and bullying. I choose my news by searching online. If I can do something about a situation or I am curious, I may read more, listen more, do more. If I cannot, I will continue to be informed by choosing to read what I wish without being bombarded with negative news. However, I still see it and feel it.

We are surrounded by so many horrible world and local events.  People are starving.  People are dying.  People are fleeing from their countries in fear.  War is erupting.  Hatred, racism, and bullying pepper social media.  Suicide rates are on the rise.  Layoffs are rising.  Taxes are increasing.

It seems a bit selfish and naive to celebrate Christmas - or whatever other holiday you celebrate this time of year.  Even Pope Francis said celebrating Christmas when the world is full of hatred is a 'charade'.

So I had to think about why I celebrate... if I will... and if I do...  how?

I am celebrating Christmas.  Actually, I was raised Christian and now I believe in many things so I don't really consider myself 'Christian'.  I believe in love and peace, though.  And for me, that's the key for celebrating Christmas.

I believe that love and peace begins with yourself and spreads to those close to you... who then spread it to those close to them... and on and on with the ripple effect.  Social media has been wonderful at this.  I see that someone has done something wonderful, and I get inspired to either join them or do something else kind.  

So I believe that celebrating the holidays is more important now... in these times of turmoil.  I think it is also important to bring love and peace to the celebrations.  I will give presents.  I will have some holiday 'spirits' at parties.  I will smile.  I will share.  I will hug.  I will laugh.  I will find compassion. 

I will not complain because the photo machine is broken and there is a long line-up of people waiting to print photos.  I will not frown at the cashier in the supermarket who is working overtime in order for us to have fancy food on our tables for the celebrating.  I will not bi**h at the drivers who are butting in front of me trying to get to their destination faster.  

I will show my children how to love and live in peace.  I will demonstrate to them that kindness and compassion can change a person's day... life... including your own.

We will sing and dance because it is uplifting and maybe it will bring joy to others.  We will bring that uplifting spirit to others through our energy and smiles and conversation.

We will have a delicious Christmas dinner with a dozen or so people around the table because we are investing in being with and sharing with our family.  We will also spend a day cooking and serving food for those in need.

We will open presents on Christmas morning because it is a tradition, it brings joy, and it demonstrates giving.  We will also give presents to others in the form of purchased items, homemade items, and time.... some of those others we do not know but know they are in need. Some of those we know and know they are in need.  Some of those we know and know they are not in need but we are simply spreading joy and giving our presence.

A letter to Santa was sent.  It included asking for items for others in addition to a request for something special.

We will clean the house and put up a tree and decorate.  We will have a few special items in the pantry for treats.  We will also meditate and breathe and invest in our wellness during the 'hectic' days.  We will not make the holidays about having the perfect house, rather create a celebratory and loving environment.

I realize not everyone shares in my enthusiasm for celebrating the holidays.  I realize the holidays bring sadness and strife to many.  I will help those people when and if I can, and I will be mindful that we all have different experiences and not to assume anything.  I feel it is my responsibility to live the fullest life I can, and if I have been blessed with a good life, isn't it right to celebrate that?  Both by being the love I want to see in the world and by sharing it with others?

I'm celebrating the holidays because not celebrating is stopping the spread of love and peace.  And our world needs love and compassion now more than ever.

Merry Christmas!  Here's to spreading Christmas spirit <3