I fall head first into the consumerism trap of the holiday season every year.
My heart jumps at the first sight of twinkly lights, snowflake decorations and Christmas specials. Poking my head around a decorated Indigo, I pretend I can afford a $67 light up travel mug while browsing Gwyneth Paltrow’s new collection on how to solve all of life’s problems through drinking a green smoothie. My heart quickens. The snow hits my face and I truly feel like I’m in wonderland. As I finish exams and head to Ottawa to see my lovely family, there’s one thing I always forget — I hate the holidays.
They are stressful and that’s coming from a Jew. Afterall, Hanukkah was just branded to compete with the hype of Christmas, but that could be a whole other article — let’s try to stay on track here. For me, the holidays consist of socializing every night, draining me of my emotional and physical energy. I am squeezing people into my schedule and unintentionally leaving people out — without a moment to relax. Why doesn’t Micheal Bublé or Mariah Carey remind me about this feeling?
Personally, as somewhat of an adult living in a different city from my parents, I feel like I exist as a 20-something-year-old experimenting with her independence most of the year. That being said, the moment my foot touches my parents’ carpet, I magically transform into a bratty 16-year-old in a Disney channel movie. Clearly this page of writing is not going to fix my immature behaviour or even help me with my much needed introspection, but I do hope that if you feel even an ounce similar during the holidays, then perhaps I can help you feel less alone.
Spoiler alert — Santa isn’t real and neither is Christmas magic, a concept I have clung on to for quite a while.
I’ve come to realize that the only way I can enjoy the holiday season is by accepting it’s not going to be perfect. My mental health fluctuates from good to not so good depending on the day.
I always forget that just because it’s snowy and bells are ringing, it doesn’t mean my day has to be filled with joy. My best advice (and I’m speaking mostly to myself here) is that just like any other day, try to do things that make you feel calm and make time for yourself in the holiday madness. If you need to miss an event, or even just take a walk to avoid a loud dinner guest, do what you need to do. Your time is still your time, even during the holidays.
So, finish your candy canes, stuff yourself with leftover chocolate and let’s take on the new year, where assignments are starting and no one is telling you be a good cheer. It’s January and there will be no more rhyming.
Oh, also, if you’re a member of my family reading this (mom), remember this is about me, not you. I love you all and I hope you had an enjoyable holiday season.