Joyful hurrahs! That pretty much describes the holiday season. Suddenly, at the end of November, there’s a quickening of pace and a lifting of spirits as we anticipate. Over the next four or five weeks, we’ll be in high holiday gear. Our holiday busyness, our ways of celebration are as various as the imagination allows.
There are so many possibilities, so many holiday delights that it’s easy to hit the overload button. Instead of overload, choose yours and your family’s favorite ways to celebrate and stick to those.
Holiday spirit takes hold through much of the world. That means there are as many cultural ways of celebrating as there are religious ways. Below you’ll find but a few of the countless ways people celebrate the holidays. What are your favorites?
Let’s start with music.
Do you carol through the neighborhood?
Do you sing in a choir, play in an orchestra? Does your anticipation grow as you rehearse?
Do you go to hear a choir or an orchestra?
Do you play carols on an instrument for your family?
Do you play holiday music on your iPod or Nano or CD player? Do you have some faves?
Then there is the food.
Are you a holiday baker? Are you one who bakes and cooks and shares with others?
Do you throw a party and cook your heart out for it?
Rather than making and baking, perhaps you enjoy the tasty treats of the season. Which?
There are gatherings.
Is it friends gathering? It is travelling a distance to be together?
There is story telling – from the theatrical to at-home retellings.
There’s the Nutcracker and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Perhaps you prefer Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Are you a storyteller? There are stories to be told, stories to pass down.
There is gift-giving.
Do you love giving gifts to others?
Do you enjoy finding that perfect gift?
Is it the wrapping of your gifts?
Do you make your gifts? Do you enjoy giving of yourself to others?
It could be you just plain like receiving gifts.
What about charities? Whether it’s time, talent or money, it is a season to help others.
There are always elevated spirits.
Does your pace quicken? Do you feel that holiday season joy?
Do you have a holiday season persona?
Are you the one who “ho, ho, ho’s”?
Do you have favorite holiday clothes? Maybe you like to wear red shoes or you’ve a favorite pair of socks. Even a jingle bell bracelet?
There are decorations everywhere.
Is it decorating your home? What about your yard?
Do you decorate a tree? What makes your decorating time most special?
Is it the countdown, the anticipation you most enjoy?
Do you enjoy an advent calendar?
Is it spiritual? Or, is it the traditions handed down over the years? What are they?
It’s a season to reach out to others wherever they may live.
Do you send cards, letters and photos? Do you visit family and friends
Here’s the thing. The holidays are no longer just Christmas for Christians, Hanukkah for Jews and Kwanzaa for those of African heritage. It’s true; non-believers enjoy the holidays as well. Plus, for some, the traditions have blended. The important point is that you do what is right for you and yours. Remember, though, to avoid the overload so you can savor your holiday season.
Happy holidays! The season has begun.