Post-Holiday Contemplations

Whew! What a tumultuous two weeks! Amidst the chaos of last-minute-shopping, hosting parties, attending parties, driving all over, gift-giving, and gift-receiving, I think we had some peaceful moments of sharing love, gratitude, and kindness.

But what a way to go about seeking peace! Every Christmas season, I keep thinking we could do more with less. We could have fewer gifts, fewer parties, less commotion and chaos. Jokingly, I thought I should do my Christmas shopping in July - there would be fewer people shopping, less hassle dealing with shipping, less driving all over to get this or that. It takes a lot of planning and thought, though, and it's hard to find the time until the season is upon us.

For these reasons, I enjoy Thanksgiving so much more. It is simpler. There are no gifts, no silly rituals other than eating and giving thanks, no chaos in the streets and stores. It can have a genuine, heartfelt focus on family, shared time, and thanksgiving. I want Christmas to be a repeat of Thanksgiving. Then perhaps New Year's Eve will seem more like a fling than another blunt party before we've even recovered from the noise and haste.

So next year I will again organize a family party at our house, but I think I will request that people only bring one or two gifts. Then, rather than focus on gifts, we can focus on each other, sharing food, time, and warmth, without the materialism and its associated stress. Our finite, precious time together should be spent with one another, with life - that which is most sacred.


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