My Holiday Manifesto
1. REASONS In remembering the "reason for the season" I will ask myself what I REALLY love about the Holidays. Not what I'm "supposed" to love about the Holidays, but what I DO love. I will focus on that and I will place more peripheral things aside to enable the enjoyment of those things. For me that is food and family. If everything else was stripped away, those are the things I would be saddest to loose.
2. PRESENTS I will not buy into all the commercial shit. While others are spending thousands of dollars on Christmas presents I will give a few small presents from the heart. No one has a RIGHT to expect a present. Presents are gifts, not something one can claim. People will get gifts from my heart. I will never again give someone a fill-in present because I couldn't think of anything to give them. If I don't know you well enough to give you a present, you don't get one! So there.
3. GATHERINGS I will not expect more of holiday gatherings than I expect of everyday gatherings. There is no inherent perfection of meal that is required just because a gathering is held between certain dates.
4. SCHEDULING I will not make commitments I cannot keep. Similarly, I will not commit myself to too many things in one week. If all your spare time is spent in planning for a gathering and going to that gathering, then planning for the next one, you are TOO BUSY!
5. DOWNTIME I will take some time to sit by myself and knit, or just sit by myself. Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean we have to ignore taking care of ourselves. Have a seat, drink a cup of tea, eat a salad, take a multivitamin. Think about your blessings instead of all the things you have to do.
6. FOOD I will eat whatever I damn well please, thankyouverymuch. No, I will not gorge myself on chocolate (although I got a luscious box yesterday from a thankful graduate student), but if I want to eat it, I will. With no guilt, and no remorse. Because the season is about food to me. I will shamelessly make biscuits and sausage gravy on Christmas morning and no one can stop me! The season is not for worrying and stressing. Be responsible, but be happy foremost.
7. GRATITUDE When I sit down to a fabulous feast, or open that expensive gift that my family all went in on together, I will remember that I am loved. But I will not forget that there are those in this world much less fortunate than I. People who didn't get a whole week off of work because they don't GET paid holidays. I will remember that there are people who cannot afford to have a holiday and people who are starving. While I can't ship my leftovers to them, I can help them in some way. I will knit charity items (or give money if I've got the extra funds lying around), and I will encourage others to do so. I will give thanks to my deity of choice and reaffirm my commitment to be a better person everyday.