The streets echo with little one’s looking forward to a night of goblins and candy. Yes, Halloween is now upon us. Our neighborhood is alive with children (which is unusual, since there seems to be no children the rest of the year). Do we buy candy or slip quietly into the night and turn the lights off. Sounds so, bah-humbug.
Every year at this time, with the crescendo being Christmas, I notice that I want to look at relocating to some far off land where holidays take on a new meaning. Something less Target, and more human.
You see, I feel that how we celebrate reflects in someway our continued slide into the material abyss. It’s all about the stuff that makes the holiday (i.e. gifts at Christmas, the sales that accompany all of the major holidays, etc.). Not about what we do or want for the community around us. Do we have to buy candy to celebrate a day or feel closer to family?
As I write, I start to feel the flavor of old Mr. Scrooge in me (or at least as I perceive others might feel about anything blasting holidays). What is it in me that has such a reaction to the holidays? Does it have something to do with the “fake” culture that I see that encumbers our perception of the holidays? Everything is nice, we all get along, we must participate, and so on. Meanwhile, we continue to pile down the path toward the cliff – no questions asked, no thoughts to a different way.
So what do I want? What does less Target and more human mean? Well, the scale of advertising and selling that occurs the last three months of the year is absurd. Companies ramp up their advertising efforts by 50% + just to get you to buy things, regardless if you need them or not. That’s a lot of candy. It’s no surprise that our collective stress level skyrockets over this same period of time. Our sense of well-being drops. Yay! Let’s go shopping! Our personal debt increases. Before you know it, January is upon us and we feel dead to the world (and broke).
I am on board with ideas like “just stop buying things” as Woody Harrelson promotes. Maybe spend more time doing the things we love. Being collectively present and available for those around us. Accepting ourselves for who we are. Presenting love, instead of stuff.
Marilyn and I have no plans for the holidays other than to fully embrace the opportunity to be together. Yes, we will be out on Halloween eve – sorry kids. The rest of the season will be about what nourishes us. Time with my son, Nate, as he celebrates his first holidays away from us (he now lives in Maryland). A time to relax, to appreciate, and to focus on the new year. All rich stuff without the debt hangover that follows.