Are The Holidays THAT Bad?


Do people in the media get bitter about having to work during the holidays? The reason why I ask “Are the holidays THAT bad?” is because this time of year is ripe for headlines like “Surviving The Holidays” or “How To Talk To Family Members During The Holidays”…you know, stuff like that. Clearly, people have issues with their families and dread the time they agreed to sit down for a meal or open presents with them this time of year. It must be a real downer to make uncomfortable small talk with people who you have issues with. I get it. Not everyone likes their family. I also get that you don’t have to spend time with your family if they make you so utterly miserable. Why, then, do we have to get a yearly dose of radio programs, articles, or TV shows that tells you how to cope with this giant rock of misery called “The Holidays.”

As I wrote at the outset, it could be angry media people who have to work — so they’re going crap in the punch bowl of the holidays. Maybe it’s a counter-programming thing where you have to inject a little sour into all that jolly. But think about it, it seems there’s a lot of frustration about December holidays because of things like being forced to shop for gifts, enduring crowds of people (well, the Internet has decreased crowds at shops because of all the online “deals”), planning what to eat, maybe taking in a holiday play or ballet, religious services, mailing holiday cards and gifts, deciding whether this is the time to call old friends, always being aware of the tick, tick, tick of the countdown clock, or people asking that stupid question “Are you ready for the holidays?” It can lead to someone screaming “Serenity now!” I get it.

But you know what? You don’t have to fall into those traps of misery. There’s a thing call choice, and if you choose to get swept up in the frustrating thing about the holidays, that’s all you’ll focus on. You don’t have to send holiday cards. You don’t have to buy gifts for everyone. You don’t have to get all pissy and moan about what a hassle it is to go and shop. And you can deflect that incredibly stupid question “Are you ready for the holidays yet?” with a simple “Yes I am.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that this is supposed to be a fun time of year. And if you get distracted by all the deadlines and “things to do” you’re not allowing yourself to just enjoy this time of year on your own terms. Buy into the hype that everything has to be perfect on a specific day, and you’ll soon find yourself all twitchy about this or that thing. Does your family get on your nerves? Okay, what about trying to spend time with people you like? Sure, some friends may have their own plans, but some might welcome a get together that doesn’t involve reading articles like “How To Respond To Your Racist Uncle About His Obamaphobia.” See what I’m saying? Choose who you want to spend time with, how you want to celebrate, what you can afford to buy in terms of gifts, and maybe this holiday won’t be the drag the media often predicts it will be.

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