Thursday, December 16, 2004

Merry Whatever

In my adulthood, I've never been fond of The Holiday Season. Sure, the pretty lights and syrupy music associated with Christmas warm my heart in some way, but it's all so saccharine. I don't appreciate feeling forced to be festive. Quite frankly, it pisses me off that admission to the same club I'd go to on any other Friday night quadruples on New Year's Eve. It's the same DJ, and the same club tunes. It's the same crowd, only dressed up for the occasion. I'm baffled as to why holiday decorations start appearing shortly after Halloween. I think the uproar about the removal of Christian-themed holiday music from clearly secular settings such as a public school is nonsense. I resent being made to feel like a failure if I don't go into debt buying gifts for everybody. I could go on about my love/hate relationship with The Holiday Season, initial caps because it's become an initial caps kind of thing, but I won't.

I am all for gift giving. Gift giving forces you to show appreciation for the people around you because it's much easier to give a pen to the guy in the cubicle next to you than it is to say "Dude, I totally love you because your wit and conversation bring a ray of sunshine to my day." Even if it is forced, we have an appreciation machine set up for us. I offer you this: we all have gifts we've been given, and in this gift-giving season, make a list of gifts you already have, and and give them to yourself again. This is the only time that re-gifting is acceptable.

1. If you have a spouse, partner, girlfriend or boyfriend, thank your lucky stars. They may not be perfect, and your relationship may not be perfect, but if you treat each other with respect, decency, and kindness, you have a gift. Appreciate that gift. Do something nice for them, in whatever way you can. You don't have to cook to do breakfast in bed. Buy bagels & coffee.

2. Employed? Count yourself fortunate. Hate your job? Count yourself fortunate anyway, show up to do the best you can, and prepare for a gracious exit. Love your job? Good. Let your boss know.

3. Parents still alive and in your life? Be thankful, and talk to them regularly. Share your life with them. You don't have to share your visit to Mistress Miranda's Den of Iniquity, but let your folks know that they did a good job raising you. You and the family don't get along? That's okay too. If conditions are not conducive to getting together, wish them well and hope for whatever is best for all parties involved. You'll sleep well at night.

4. Got things (money in the bank, shelter, food, a car)? Take good care of them, but don't let them become your master. Share even a little of what you have with someone else, and try not to think less of anyone who doesn't have what you have. You've given yourself the gift of generosity and unloaded judgement.

5. Alive and kicking? All parts in at least 85% working order? You have the gift of life. Give yourself the gift of healthy, nutritious food, lots of water, a little exercise every day, and a decent night's sleep. You'll be rewarded with longevity, better brain power, and reduced stress. Add in soul-feeding through quiet time, brain-boosting by learning something new each day.

6. Children in your life? Be the example you want them to see. Tell the truth, live with integrity, laugh a lot, and don't take things more seriously than needed.

7. Look at yourself in the mirror and forget about what you think you're supposed to see. Even the genetically blessed among us thinks they're not perfect. Most Hollywood beauties are a mess without makeup. The hottie with the body may have garbage can breath. The guy with the broad shoulders may be a complete disappointment downstairs thanks to the steroids he takes to get those shoulders. No one is perfect, but you're the best and only you you have. Teeth crooked? You've got teeth. Butt too big? Somebody out there is looking for a chick with junk in her trunk. You are your own gift, and without you, you can't give a gift to anyone else.

Merry whatever you celebrate.


Blogger roy said...

I love you too, but instead of that pen I'll take a tube of Foster's if you don't mind.

6:49 PM  

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