I've been called many things over the past years, but Grinch seems to be what fits. I don't try to diminish everyone else's joy, but I'm gonna be honest...holiday decorations hitting store shelves before Halloween? Seriously? Steals a lot of my holiday joy. Growing up, I remember our radio stations playing holiday music, but before we could hardly get the Thanksgiving leftovers put away? It's as if we are trying so hard to rush through the holiday season that we forget what we are celebrating.
Halloween isn't merely about getting candy and dressing up. For some, like me, it is about honoring our ancestors. It is a time when the veil thins between the worlds and we communicate with those who've gone before. Sure, I like a good Reese's as much as the next girl, but there's so much more to it.
By the time Christmas rolls around, we are so wrapped up in the gift giving that we lose sight of what's important. We have an entire month that is hopelessly devoted to: how many presents does each person have, did I spend the same amount on each person, and did my sibling buy our parents a bigger/better/more expensive gift? When did we stop having fun? I remember my mom making gifts for people. She would spend hours sewing things for them, making sure the colors were perfect. But I also remember getting up Christmas morning, excited to see what Santa brought. I believed in the magick of it all. Somewhere along the way, Santa was sold out to Walmart. Gifts from the heart were tossed aside for big and expensive yet cheaply made items. We lost touch with our roots and reality. I remember gifts I was given as a kid that made me question some relatives' sanity, but I smiled, said "Thank you", hell, I even had to write thank you notes! And I did it. I still do. For me, it's important to sit down and put pen to paper to tell someone how special you feel because they took the time to think of you. I would rather have one simple gift that tells me a person took the time to thoughtfully purchase a gift for me, than to have several shiny, expensive gifts. Someone I loved deeply once bought me a 5-pack of my favorite ink pens. I cried at the thoughtful gesture. That meant more to me than if this person had brought me diamonds.
The holiday season has become so wrapped up in consumerism and selfishness. Your two year old doesn't need a tablet of his own to watch his shows on. He needs a dump truck or coloring books or maybe even a day spent with you. Something to show him that HE matters to you! Not your phone, your computer screen, or your shows, your child! Your kids won't remember the year they got their phone/tablet/video game/etc., but they will remember watching Christmas movies in their jammies, sledding down a snowy hill, playing a board game, or even helping make cookies...with YOU! You are the key to a magickal holiday season! You won't always be here and those gifts don't create memories.
I'm a little older and a little wiser (I think) so let me tell you something you may not know: People seldom remember the gift you gave them 30 years from now. What they do remember is that you took the time to make memories with them. One of my favorite memories? Being in the kitchen with my family, making cookies, fudge, and candies. Me stirring the pan of fudge on the stove. My dad beating the other batch of fudge at the table. My brother being annoying. My mom baking off the sugar cookies. The radio playing and the laughter...so much laughter! We were making so much more than goodies. There was love, laughter, and memories being made in that farmhouse kitchen. 20+ years later and all I have to do is close my eyes. I am transported back to that farmhouse kitchen in rural Michigan on a snowy night surrounded by love.