Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Coping

Many people get aggravated at Christmas time. Here are some things i do to cope.

My Christmas tree doesn't go up until the weekend before Christmas. I leave the season of Advent for Advent. The tree stays up for two weeks. It stays up for the 12 Days of Christmas (though where this particular tradition comes from is beyond me). Two weeks lets me take it down on a weekend. I have no outside ornaments. It's a fake tree, and so it's the same one every year. The lights are only on from about sunset to about 9 pm. I'm not contributing to significant light pollution. I'm not consuming mass quantities of electricity.

Last year, i wasn't home much over this Christmas period. We spent the time at my mother-in-law's. So, no tree at home at all.

The hustle and bustle of buying presents has been diminished dramatically in my greater family. By mutual consent, we only give gifts to children. So, i'm not wondering what to get adults who already have everything they want, since, if they wanted something, they could certainly just buy it. And, they'd get the exact thing they wanted, rather than just more or less the thing they wanted.

All of this has taken the pressure off of the season, and has made it much more pleasant. My favorite Christmas music is now 'Jingle Bells' - which is about winter. This shouldn't be offensive to anyone. Unless, you've heard it way too much. My solution is to avoid listening to the radio, and do minimal shopping at stores. The Internet lets me shop in a quicker, more fuel efficient manner, and the stuff appears at my doorstep. My iPod only knows how to play things i want to hear. This year, i've learned to play Jingle Bells on the violin. There's a minimal sense of accomplishment, which is better than nothing.

When traffic is slow because of a little snow, i put a little more space between myself and others, and limit my speed against the conditions (can i stop in time?). If it takes a little longer, that just means i get to hear another podcast. This lets me enjoy the snow.

Your life is in your hands. You can do it with a hostile attitude, but there's no value-add.

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