Holidays: Yay or Nay?

The holidays bring with them a mix of emotions for most people.  Some emotions are good, bringing up nostalgia and loving memories.  Others are filled with stress and heartache.

I have a bit of both.  It can be a time of love and compassion, forgiving and forgetting.  But it can also be a time of stress and conflict.  Let’s flesh them both out and see where we settle.

The memories of youth are strong.  There are smells of cookies, thoughts of exciting sled rides, and big hugs from friends and family.  Those nuggets get pushed to the forefront for a lot of people during this time of year.  Hugs, cookies and snow.  What could be better than that?

On the flip side, the stress, conflict, and heartache comes from too much to do and too little time to do it.  Too little sleep, less daylight to spur us, and maybe the thought of a lost loved one makes getting all the added responsibilities done very difficult.  If you really think about it, the natural inclination this time of year is to relax and slow down a bit, perhaps enjoying an extra slug of eggnog while you talk about what matters most.  I don’t know about you, but shopping is the last thing on my mind.  It is busy and chaotic and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Better time spent would be having a nice conversation and a cookie!

How much better would the holidays be if we just focused on what really mattered, like friends and family, or perhaps volunteering?  I know, I know… it’s supposed to be about that.  But, how many people do you know that mainly focus on connections and don’t let consumerism take center stage.  By this stat, I’d say that most of us are spending a lot more time buying and a lot less time enjoying:

Per http://www.statista.com, a statistics website, “The United States’ retail industry generated over three trillion U.S. dollars during the holidays in 2013. These holiday sales reflected about 19.2 percent of the retail industries total sales that year.”

I don’t know what you think, but that’s incredible to me.  If there wasn’t enough stress around the holidays, let’s add financial burden to the top of the list.

So, I guess you see where I’m headed with my answer to the holiday question.  I say nay to consumerism and yay to spending time with loved ones.  Christmas, Hannukah, or any other holiday for that matter shouldn’t be about how much money you spend on someone, it should be about the amount of quality time spent together.  If we need an over-abundance of gifts to show that we care, we are definitely heading in the wrong direction.

So, don’t stress over the holidays.  Let yourself enjoy the people around you, spending more time visiting than purchasing, and you’ll soon be saying yay to the holidays.

What do you think of the holidays?  Give it a yay or nay in the comments and tell me why.