Tuesday, November 29, 2016

309. Open to Joy

I’m not much of a holidays person. I’m not sure why. I don’t hate the holidays. I like opening presents, I don’t mind seeing family, and I can sing a Christmas carol or two when called upon. I don’t enjoy decorating, I didn’t get a tree this year, and I try to avoid any sort of shopping for as long as possible. I’m just sort of meh throughout most of the season.

One reason I think is because I’m not at a stage where I’ve been settled in long enough somewhere to celebrate Christmas. The last half of my life has involved finals, travel plans, or covering late games. I didn’t make the time to put in for Christmas because I had other things on my mind. I guess that’s ok.

The other thing is that I always find the relentless push for sales a bit sickening. I just got an email telling me about “Giving Tuesday” Seriously? We’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. I don’t mean to disparage charities who obviously want to raise much-needed funds, but man these are a lot of days to keep track of.

I decided to give people a little bit of a break when celebrating the holidays this year. Other people get joy out of them, and I’ve made a conscious effort not to get in the way of other people’s joy. It’s been too crappy of a year to not let people celebrate and grab joy out of life how they please. I think if we all did that a little bit better, things would improve by a lot.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at my cousin’s this year, once again. The gatherings are getting smaller and smaller. As other people’s families grow, plans change. I can surely understand that. I know there was a lot of talk about politics and what not to talk to your families about over the holidays. While topical, I think it was a bit overdone. You can choose not to talk about these things. Maybe some discussions get a bit heated, but I’d like to think the majority of families know when to stop discussing things, or change the subject. I know I’m a straight, white, male who has had a pretty solid relationship with his family for most his life.

I went in thinking It’d eventually come up, but it never did, and I was fine with that. I listened to my cousin talk about her new dog. I talked with my other cousin about soccer, Jurgen Klinsmann’s firing, and other random projects. And as always, I took a little ribbing from my uncle I tried to update him about my life. It was all well and good. We ate a meal together and spent some time with one another. That should be enough.

I don’t always enjoy the holidays. I kind of just ride them out. I’m trying to be just a little but more joyful his time around. People could use more joy this year. I’m just going to let myself be open to accepting it.

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