Bringing thoughtfulness and creativity to the holidays.
I have always celebrated Christmas, merely because it was tradition. When I say Christmas, I’m referring to the holiday with the toys, the tree, elves and Santa. I am not referring to the religious holiday. Even as a child, I had a difficult time believing people who tried to legitimately connect the two. In my opinion, the two holidays are separate, with only the name connecting them at this point. Perhaps somewhere back in history the link was a little more clear, but I personally find the religious/commercial connection to be quite a stretch. They don’t really have anything to do with one another. At any rate, as I’ve gotten older, I have become increasingly more uncomfortable with the holiday(s).
Why uncomfortable? This is why…
1) I’m not all for the purchase of arbitrary gifts because of a day. This is why birthdays make me uncomfortable. I’m of the mindset of thinking about often, not just on a holiday. It’s just awkward all the way around. One person grabbing something off a shelf because of obligation, wrapping it up, putting it in someone else’s face and expecting excitement. The recipient is then put in an uncomfortable position, with the giver staring, anticipating the reaction. Then if the “right” reaction isn’t given, there’s a feeling of disappointment. That’s a lot of pressure. I know it’s “the thought that counts”, but when you know the thought was all about 5 minutes and forced, how much can it really mean? I’d prefer a nice, heartfelt note or even a few kind words instead. Hell, even a smile would be an amazing gift. All around, the forced gifting makes me feel strange and stressed. I can tell when something is from the heart and filled with given with thoughtfulness and care. Those are the best gifts and usually can’t be found in a store.
2) Santa. Flat out, I don’t ever remember believing in him. My earliest memory of Christmas is from when I was about 3 or 4. I remember waking up while it was still dark, hearing rustling out by the Christmas tree and just knowing it was my parents and not Santa. I didn’t go out to check, I just knew. Even if he does exist, I don’t buy what he’s selling. First, he works elves all year, then gets all the fame. Second, I’ve known kids to visit a Santa and they are told “you have to ask for something”. Bogus! I think that’s a crummy lesson to teach anyone. It’s is simply a lesson in selfishness and greed. It’s natural to want things. What’s unnatural is having a child make a list of those things, then say that if they are good they’ll get it. So what about the kids who’s gifts come from charity? What if they don’t get what was on their list? Does that mean they were bad? There are so many thing fundamentally wrong with Santa and his message. Now, he isn’t a compete waste and this is why. Magic, I totally believe in and wish more kids held it in their hearts. Santa, when explained from a magical standpoint, can be a beneficial thing. Not that he magically invades your home and eats your food, but that his spirit is magical and that it can be spread through kindness and thoughtfulness.
3) The wanting. I don’t ever really want anything, nor would I want someone else to get it for me. Maybe it’s my independent nature, but I am much happier with doing things for myself. I am also WAY happier doing for others than allowing them to do for me. That’s independent + stubborn at it’s finest. I just don’t relate to it. When I am asked what I want, I always say peace, calm and relaxation…or something close to that. That just can’t be bought or given.
This year, I’ve decided to celebrate a new holiday. It is a holiday of my creation and embodies things that I believe in and hold close to my heart. It is Elfmas. Elves are, to me, the real magic that keeps the holiday spirit alive. They are the ones that work hard to make happiness happen. They are creative and thoughtful, which is what I wanted to bring back to my holiday season. Creativity and thoughtfulness make up a huge part of my life’s foundation. In essence, I live the elf life everyday. It doesn’t hurt that I kind of look like one. There is an emphasis on the handmade, but it can be celebrated by those without the crafting experience or expertise. It is about doing things with care, thinking about others and spreading happiness…whether with a gift, a kind word, or a smile. All are equal. So this year, and every year to come, I will be celebrating this holiday of happiness.