Sunday, 11 November 2007

A Holiday proposal

Call me Scrooge. Even in years when we have a nice get-together with friends or family I hate the frantic build-up. I hate the Hallmark/Hollywood reinforced suggestion that one is missing out if life is not filled with glittering and/or deeply meaningful gatherings.

December is the month when one feels depressed about not getting invited to parties that one would not enjoy much anyway. I am not a good party person. I prefer people in small batches.

I also do not like traveling over snowy roads in the dark, nor do I want my loved ones to expose themselves to unnecessary risks.

At this time of year I really enjoy withdrawing. This is not depression, more contented hibernation. Happiness is a pile of books, a good internet connection and a pot of tea. In the deepest dark cookies may become involved. Sparingly, because I am a cookieholic. 

It is amazing how many people one meets with the same reaction. My friend Els has a solitary Christmas ritual. She did plenty of the usual when her four children and numerous foster children were home. But these days she declines all invitations from friends and family. She lights a fire, puts on Christmas music, unwraps a chocolate treat and settles down for the day to read. Some beloved Christmas stories are on the reading list. She gleefully reports that many women, knee-deep in guests and kitchen stress, have expressed envy.

So I have a proposal. 

We get to keep the days off. We need a break at that time of year. We mark the Winter Solstice, the Return of the Light, whether as a secular celebration or a religious holiday. By the way, this pagan will happily wish you a Merry Christmas.

But if we must have that yearly busy card-writing visiting-present-giving party-going thing, let's move it to the spring equinox or even May Day. 
In spring we feel restless and ready to crawl out of the winter cave, but the gardens are not happening yet. In climates where gardens are happening it is not panic season yet. Travel is safer. What a perfect time to socialise!
How about it?


  1. I am one that hides away at this time. I love my solitude. My one ritual is to go out into the wilderness around me and take photographs. I am not much of a socialiser in the spring either but I would support bringing back the Easter parade. And love decorating eggs. And May baskets are a nice vanishing custom. Merry Winter Rest my friend.

    1. Why did I not see this until a year later? Oh well. I am sending it back in time to cheer me up on that difficult day. Thanks.

  2. Sounds good to me! After our recent round of winterplaguesnotvirus, I don't think this is a good time of year to be around people, either!

    1. Indeed, another reason. And again, I did not see this till almost a year later.


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