It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving. This is the start of the swing into the holidays. A lot of people take time off for prepping for Thursday, lucky bastards. Grocery stores are hopping. I am probably not stepping foot into Walmart for a while, if I can avoid it, which I can these days, thanks Amazon! It’s going to be a fun few weeks coming up, and it’s going to be a stressful few weeks coming up. People put a lot of pressure on themselves during the holiday season. You can tell them not to worry, everything will be fine, but they will worry anyway. It is just how it goes, part of the cycle of life. What are the things people get hung up on? Let’s see…
Christmas cards. It used to be THE thing to get those cards out. It was fun for a couple of weeks to go to the mailbox. It was not fun trying to find the address book, buying the cards, filling them out, and forgetting to mail them. But it is a tradition, and still is for some people. A lot of people have taken to sending the photo cards, that is a nice touch for families with kiddos. I was usually never all that good at sending them out, but I did like getting them. Not as many people do it anymore, which is a little sad, but I kind of think the constant contact of social media means we don’t feel the need to update everyone with that one mailing each year. Still, if you send me one, I will read it, enjoy it, display it somewhere, and find it again in September next year. Or the year after. Small hoarding issues over here.
Shopping. I like buying gifts for people, I don’t love paying for them, but the picking out process is fun. When you find that right thing and almost pee your pants with the excitement! (That’s a lady thing, comes with age.) But it is easy to get carried away, and spend outside of your budget. That can get stressful. I am not an early shopper, usually. Once in a while you find the right thing ahead of the season, but I like the pressure of waiting until closer to Christmas. I am a December baby, my birthday has to happen before I can do any holiday stuff. Those are my rules. People that are done shopping for Christmas before October are overachievers, and they just are looking for attention. I don’t get them, and if you bought my present prior to the Summer Solstice, we can’t be friends anymore.
Holiday Greetings. These past few years people sure have been getting bent out of shape about how to wish someone a good tiding of the season. I have to greet people and say goodbye to people sometimes hundreds of times a day. It is a big part of my job. So I change up what I say often so that I don’t start to sound insincere. Starting about a week ago I took to telling people to have a nice Thanksgiving, to enjoy their day and things like that. After Thursday is the switch into the Holiday Greeting. That might come out as Merry Christmas. It may be Enjoy Your Holidays, Happy Holidays, or any variation on that theme. If you are offended, that is too bad, really. You should then not enjoy your holidays because you are focused on the wrong things. Be happy that someone has taken a moment to wish you well. It is truly that simple. I am not taking Christ out of Christmas. That isn’t my gig at all. I do not know your affiliation religious-wise, nor do I care. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. or atheist I just want you to have a good life during the season that is upon us. There’s a lot going on, I don’t need a rundown on your beliefs, and with many celebrations of the winter season, we all need a little friendly greeting once in a while. I will give you that, try to appreciate it instead of analyzing if I am a heathen or not. After a long day at work, be happy I didn’t snarl and growl at you.
Homemade candy and cookies. Officially, I am a big fan of this! I do try each year to participate in this. I don’t usually do too well, but I like making some of this stuff. I like eating it more though, so that is where my issues start. But I promise you, if you are willing to cover your kitchen in sugar, spice and everything nice and bring the fruits of your labor, well, hopefully not fruit, I will happily and gratefully accept your offerings! I have a few regular customers who have brought treats to me over the years. And that is so meaningful. It is more than just a snack, it is a gift of your time. The time you put into making it, packaging it, and thinking of me is very appreciated. It is a piece of your heart. There is no better gift than a personal gift. I will say that if you are not gifted in the culinary way, there are some candy stores pumping out some quality goodies too. Wink wink.
There is plenty of time before Christmas gets here for me to continue to enlighten you, so I will come back around now. This is a wonderful and magical time of year for most of us. It can be hard for many, money is tight, maybe the year has taken someone you love from you, or maybe people feel alone or lost. I would hope that you can keep these people in mind, and reach out if you are able. Donate if you can, there are many ways to do that, from dropping change into a bucket, adopting a family, volunteering your time, Toys for Tots, etc. A season of giving, as it were. Have some Merry and Bright days, some quiet and reflective evenings, and be thankful for the time you have with those around you. And please don’t stress yourself out too much. This season will rotate around again next year.
Eat well, and nap often this Thanksgiving. That is all for now.