Word of Beak: You can't get too much winter in the winter
The wind picks up, the air at night becomes crisp.
Frost rests on early morning windshields, rain washes away any remnants of heat from the summer, and small businesses string lights and set up displays boasting happiness and joy of the season at hand.
Indeed, Christmas is right around the corner. The annual light parade returned as always on the first Saturday of December, through a rain storm, officially welcoming the holiday with the annual tree lighting by Santa Claus. This time of year brings excitement and a sense of brotherhood into every heart, excluding the Scrooges who undoubtedly exist.
No matter what your holiday of choice, the holiday season unites people with an air of celebration. This season comes with a dark side, however. The side that everyone experiences, and sometimes it is not eclipsed by the joy the season brings as it usually does. This is the infamous pre-Christmas shopping.
Preparations for this holiday take its toll as each person, young and old, scramble to find the perfect gifts, the brightest and most celebratory light display, and creating the best dishes any family would adore. The stressors of this holiday are, in my opinion, pointless. Yet, I too fall victim to at least one of these common consumer stressors each year.
Finding the "perfect" gift for someone is not typically a simple task. This requires serious thought and effort and occasionally causes doubt to intrude which brings second guessing one's self which then brings unnecessary anxiety. If someone is special enough to you to require such thought and effort to decide upon a gift, they will appreciate anything you give them because a gift is not what your relationship is built upon. Chances are that they went through the exact same stress for you.
Aiming to have a fantastic light display is not a bad thing. Many people love to look at interesting light displays and leave with added holiday spirit because someone took the time to create an entertaining display showcasing this season. Outdoor and even indoor decorations should by no means cause an overload of stress. These things are outward examples of an inward feeling. The important part will shine through to those close to you whether lights accompany it or not.
A large feast is one of the most highlighted portions of any major celebration, and Christmas is no exception. Some families serve dinner in potluck style, with each person bringing a different dish as to avoid overwhelming any one person, usually the host or hostess. Others prefer to handle the vast majority of the cooking in one house, by one person or a few people.
The dinner being one of the main portions of the celebration requires much preparation and attention. A ruined dinner means a ruined party, right? Wrong. The people who attend your Christmas celebration may be disappointed if the food winds up inedible, however they will not hold it over your head. They are close friends and family who love you whether the dinner is spectacular or not.
This time of year should bring everyone's focus onto the reason for the celebration: The birth of Jesus, family and friends, or whatever it is that brings you together.
Do not get so wrapped up in the details that the true point of the holiday is forgotten and have a very merry Christmas.