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Seasonal Memories

By Strongarm     Nov 14, 2006 in Lifestyle
Over-spending, standing in countless lines and hoping to just get through each day is not the way to celebrate the holiday season.
Bah Humbug
It seems that no one really enjoys the holiday season anymore. As Christmas approaches people rush around even more than usual, not to mention in increasingly agitated states. I think, more than ever before, we live in a society where people are obsessed with one-upping one another….people continually compare themselves to others, and what others have. Many people rely on numerous to-do lists, referring to day planners that refer to calendars and various other organizers. Cross things off only to add 10 more things….resulting in a momentary sense of satisfaction. As households stash their leftover Halloween candy and pull down their creepy decorations, many begin putting up their Christmas ornaments. What a scene - pumpkins slowly rotting on doorsteps along with twisted piles of Christmas lights! On front lawns, still strewn with leaves, giant inflatable snow creatures in holiday garb stand as witnesses. The holidays shouldn't be a headache - Christmas isn't a time to rush through or agonize over the smallest details. Whatever happened to just being thankful for the season, to enjoy being with family and friends, creating memories that haven't been orchestrated, to keeping old traditions and starting new ones just on instinct - why can't people just celebrate without going to extremes.
Ask yourself what do you remember most from holidays past? What are your brightest memories? What are your favourite things? I guarantee that none of the choices are based on monetary value or idealistic conceptions.
Here's just some of what I remember, and cherish:
1. The long procedure of bundling up just right to the point of bursting
2. Building snow forts
3. Sledding down hills and trudging back up again till the point of collapse
4. Baking & decorating cookies…to eat and to put on the tree
5. Curling up on the couch in flannel pj's and a fleece blanket and reading Dickens'
6. caroling - door to door as a kid, visiting hospitals, or with family
7. putting a bow on my cat and trying to snap a picture of her under the tree
8. picking out a gift for under $10 for a Secret Santa party…and laughing about all of our finds
9. having a re-gifting party with other students and professors when at university
10. making cups of instant hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows (flaming ones…) on the stovetop
11. driving around and finding all our favourite lighted houses…checking back year after year
12. having a door decorating contest using things we already had
13. building a graham cracker "gingerbread house" and never getting it to hold together long enough
14. ordering the Swiss Chalet Festive Special just in time to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade on TV
15. making a day out of visiting all the malls nearby to look at all their decorations, and seeing which one has the most realistic looking Santa
16. trying to watch all the different versions of "A Christmas Carol"
17. going to church to hear the choirs
18. making paper snowflakes
19. conspiring with everyone to wear silly things, like musical socks and reindeer antlers
20. building a neighbourhood snowman family
21. painting a holiday scene on the window, collecting pinecones, and other crafts
22. writing a special message in everyone's card
Hope this gets everyone thinking about their own memories, and about what the holiday season really means to them. We shouldn't be in such a rush to get over and through the holidays…..the goodwill and real spirit of the season should be a lasting gift!
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