By Mike Aux-Tinee
I was listening to the radio the other day and the song, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” was on. Of course, it is a Christmas song that we all grew up listening to.
I could not help but wonder, what about the other eleven months of the year? Are they not special in their own right? I like sled riding in January.I LOVE Valentines Day. There is opening day for baseball, spring, being able to cycle outside, summer, toss in a couple of holidays in May, July and September. Then there is the fall, starting of the hockey and football seasons, the leaves turning colors, of course baseball in October, halloween and right back where we are now.
So, why is this the most wonderful time of the year? Look what you have to deal with, three holidays within a five-week period. Spending more on gifts than you can afford and putting yourself deeper into debt. Struggling to find parking at the mall, an over-ambitious to do list, raised tempers…. all endured for the most wonderful time of the year. Or so we are led to believe.
How about this, just ask yourself , why ? What is it about this time of year, that we abandon our common sense and over do everything? Why are we buying things instead of doing things together? Why are we trying to live up to someone else’s standard of what we should be doing to perpetuate the idea that this is the most wonderful time of the year?
I am taking pages from the minimalism camp and have decided to toss out the old and bring in something much different. The goal is to have whatever I come up with reflect my interests, values and personality.
1. I am not buying presents and I have asked everyone not to buy me anything. I realized, I have way too many things and many of these things are packed away not being used. So no more things! Then starting the first of the year, some of those things are going to find a new home.
Instead, I am looking to spend time with my family and friends. I did buy a few small items for the younger members of the family but even then, I am doing something that reflects who I am. I have adopted an animal at the zoo for each little person in the family! It comes down to a penguin and an elephant. Try it and watch their face when they meet their animal the next time you are at the zoo together! It is a very memorable experience the two of you can have.
2. I am asking to be shown how to do things. I am generating a list of things I do not know how to do and asking my friends and family to show me. I hope it goes over well. The goal is to deepen my relationship/friendship with them and share something more valuable than a one time gift.
3. Instead of decorating every inch of every possible space. I have decided a minimalist approach is the way to go. I want to decide what I like. If I do want to put anything out it is on my terms. I think, not decorating the place does not make the holiday season any less important or make me a candidate for a midnight meeting with three spirits. Actually, they better not wake me up or let me see them sneaking about. I am likely to whack them with a bat!
I feel, the purpose of this season is to celebrate and be merry! Which is something I do not need any help or advice doing! There is always someone who says, I wish Christmas would last all year-long.
So, that is what I am going to attempt. To be merry the other 330 some odd days of the year. To spend more time with the important people in my life. To focus on becoming financially independent and spend less. To find and volunteer with organizations that work to make the world a cleaner and greener place.
When everyone sees how much fun I am having, I will be all warmed up for them to join in. Maybe some of them will tag along.
Thus, my definition of the most wonderful time of the year, all year-long.
Peace Dudes and dudettes!