Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Holidays?

I've written before about being a Grinch at this time of me there's far too much fuss made over the holidays.  Stores go straight from touting Halloween candy and costumes to pushing Christmas decorations, cards and gifts.  By mid-November, lights and decorations are already on display in many places.  You can't pick up a paper, turn on the TV or go online without being bombarded by holiday ads, articles or programming.  What is the purpose of so many people spending so much time planning, shopping, preparing for and then cleaning up after holiday we really enjoy all the hustle and bustle or feel obligated to participate?

Holiday preparation adds myriad errands and time-sucking tasks to to do lists that are already a mile long.  How do friends who are already overburdened running around on their kids' behalf and who rarely seem to have a moment to themselves fit in even more?  The effects of our recession-burdened economy may add additional pressure to those who can't afford to givethe amount or kind of presents bestowed in years past. 

It's not that I'm not looking forward to or don't enjoy attending holiday parties--as long as I don't have to host them.  It's the cramming of so many social events into a few weeks, plus the crowds in stores and all the hype and, unless you never leave your house or expose yourself to any media, the constant displays of Christmas-y stuff.  

Not only that, this season can be tough on the Gainfully Unemployed.  Business in the acting and publishing worlds grinds to a halt.  Which means hardly any auditions or jobs, and very little chance of long-outstanding submissions being read.  Full-time employees bask in the joy of paid days off, but
the GU know holidays just mean the phone won't ring.  When you don't know where or when your next paycheck is coming from, it can be hard to relax.  

So what do you like about the holidays?  What do they mean to you?


EilisFlynn said...

I like the holidays because things get dressed up. And I like planning on things to get people. But I also know that some people get pretty depressed this time of year, too.

Karen said...

I worked part-time at a retail clothing store for 2 Christmas seasons and I haven't been able to step into a mall in the month of December ever since.
My shopping is all done online and I limit socializing to the events I *really* want to attend. I have eliminated the 'must do this/must do that' mindset so that some years I send cards, some years I decorate, some years I bake, but never feel pressured to do everything.
As a freelancer or GU I also feel the pressure of having a HUGE quarterly tax payment to make on Dec 15 plus a lull in income. The December money crunch keeps me from going overboard with gift and outfit shopping, instead opting to stay in and catch up on books and movies - a nice free gift to myself. : )