Holiday Advice? No Way!
I looked at the Holiday merchandise appearing in stores before the Halloween candy was even given out.
Houses in my neighborhood have the Christmas lights put up in late October.
Advertisements on the television are exclaiming “Black Friday Prices all Week!”
Magazine covers, news stories, talk shows, and podcasts are filled with lists and advice on how to make your holidays super magical and stress-free.
My advice, is don’t listen to any of it! Each family has their own traditions and those customs are what make the days special. Spending Thanksgiving with my family having our pot-luck style dinner and playing games afterwards is my idea of a great day! Someone else may prefer a formal dinner with grandma’s china and place cards. Others may like TV trays and football. Whatever your family likes should be what you do. Any holiday adds extra tension because of the status of the day itself, looking at the magazine articles that talk about the “perfect” day will only increase your tension, especially if something doesn’t quite work like the article said it should.
However, if a change is what you want, then by all means make the change! If what you have always done just doesn’t work anymore, do not be afraid to stir the pot! For instance, my family is looking at attending a different Christmas Mass that works better for all of us. Tradition has been to attend the 4:00 children’s Mass on Christmas Eve, but this year we are thinking about the 7:00pm or Christmas morning Mass and mixing up the order of events surrounding Mass and the rest of the celebrations. Who knows – maybe new traditions will begin with just some simple rearranging.
Quite honestly, I do not think God cares how we celebrate any holiday, religious or otherwise, as long as we keep Him in mind and thank Him for what we have.
So, go fight the crowds on Black Friday to get the super good deals! Throw your ugly sweater parties! String popcorn with the kids! Light the fireplace and have a glass of wine with your spouse! Whatever you choose to do is the best low-stress way for you to “manage” your holidays. In other words “you do you”.
Have a Blessed Advent season!