Thanksgiving Practices

12:26 PM

If I switch to KDWD in the morning on the way to work (because I want to hear Beyonce, obviously) I am always surprised again by the weirdness of the dj's and how they perpetuate stereotypes, particularly about how typical Americans should live, pro-consumerism, how they are hyper critical and interested in the lives of famous people, and they are particularly generic with their banter with each other (the girl puts up with a lot but then calls the guys out for being too critical or crude and is laughed off as uptight, etc). It's a pattern that they've found works for radio (but not for me).

So I was listening to this morning's weekend arts round up on The Current instead and was suddenly surprised to have those same kind of feelings as they joked for quite a while about how stressful the holidays are and made that a reason to go check out some new comedy performances in town. More festivities to offer 'relief' from the stressful season. Seemingly normal banter, but it struck me really hard today, paired with ads popping up all over reminding me that I need to buy more, start that 'stressful' Christmas shopping, find that perfect thing, etc. The fact that it seemed commonplace and a normal feature of life was the most striking part:

How is it that we live in a place where we are so privileged that our holidays - our times of celebration and family and joy - have become burdens?

And why do we accept this as the norm?
So here's to a holiday season where we make many of our gifts, we only buy things that we've picked out with excitement to gift to a loved one, we buy many of those things used but still in good shape, and we don't fill our homes with any more things or decorations that add stress, need more upkeep or create additional clutter. Consider that hardships exists but that stress is mostly self created.

Things I will try to live by this season:
If it feels like a burden instead of a celebration, don't do it or don't go.
If I feel I must go, make peace with it first and bring that peace along with me.
If it feels out of place or superficial, say what's on my mind, with love (challenging, no doubt).
Reject the notion that the holidays will be stressful.
Enjoy the people, traditions and spiritual depth around me.
Opt out of traditions that aren't meaningful and create new ones that are.
Support the people who try to do it all by sharing the work, bringing simple dishes along, or taking on some of the needed tasks.
Be genuinely hospitable: Invite people into our home, our usual lives, our chaos.
Be consciously thankful for big and little blessings.
Appreciate little moments as a gift from my maker and be present.

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