Today I have the privilege to host Alexa Seidel for the Giftmas 2017 Blog Tour. In her own words:
Alexa Seidel writes poems and stories about things that are...real. Kinda. Her work can be found at places like Lackington's, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, and others.
If you are so inclined you can follow Alexa on Twitter (@Alexa_Seidel), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/alexa.seidel) or read her blog at http://tigerinthematchstickbox.blogspot.com/
Without further ado...
Do We Need the Holidays?
This year has nor been an easy one. There was that feeling of doom inspired by political events, we have all been feeling that. Additionally, this year brought some difficult family matters with it for me, relationships I thought I could rely on crumbled or had to be broken off. I became the main emotional support to my mother, a role I didn't actively seek out, but one that needed to be filled. At the same time, I had to try to take care of myself.
Because family is so very intricately tied to who we are, or who we think we are, my sense of self was tried a lot. There were emotional loops and one way streets. There was the discovery of strength I never knew I had. And a lot of questions. Boy can the human mind ask questions!
With family fading a bit in my personal life, holidays took on a different flavor. And so one of these questions that I asked myself was: do we still need X-mas in this day and age?
I'd like to begin by saying that I am religion-free and celebrate X-mas not as tied to dogma but rather see it as the year coming to a close, as a time reserved for your near and dear ones, a time for introspection even. Needless to say, when the circle of family shrinks, your holidays might change.
In fact, don't families shrink for most people these days? Divorce and single-hood and distance might all play a part in the traditional picture perfect nuclear family becoming less and less applicable to most people's lives. It would seem then that X-mas too is less applicable than it was half a century ago.
In part I think that this is true. A holiday reflects the people that are celebrating it, and things have changed, will continue to change. Maybe the holidays can adapt as well.
Still, X-mas also serves as a way to mark passing time, it means the year is coming to a close, it means it's time to recharge and reset the board, because the next year is just around the corner. This I think is something people need, both as a society and on a personal level: closure and the perspective to start fresh.
And family, the one that you were born into, is not the only family you can have. We can choose our friends, we can choose whom we want to share our time on this planet with. And we can choose to set a little bit of time aside each year to spend with them.
It's also okay to spend this time to take care of yourself, because self care is a habit, and it needs to be practiced, regularly.
The opportunity the holidays offer us is a time for quiet too. And I don't mean the quiet to reflect about stuff going on in your life, I am talking about the quiet that actually allows you not to think about anything. This leisure is something we may hardly be used to anymore (when was the last time you turned off your phone and didn't check emails for at least 24 hours? Try it this X-mas!)
My personal conclusion is that the holidays are needed, maybe more than ever, but that we all should make an effort to actually celebrate them too--not with noise but with mindfulness and consideration, with care, and ultimately, with love.
A big thank you to Rhonda Parish for organizing this Giftmas Blog Tour
Here's the link to the fundraiser for the Edmonton's Food Bank.
And the rafflecopter for the all the goodies.