After I’d posted yesterday’s post, I read it aloud to John and he asked me, “Why isn’t Christmas your favourite time of the year?” We chatted a bit about that and I came to the realization that it isn’t so much the fact that it’s become so commercialized, although that has a lot to do with it.
It comes down to “hafta” and “wanna”. There are so many expectations on people at this time of year: you have to get together with family, you have to go to church on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas morning, you have to buy presents, you have to send cards, you have to plan a dinner, you have to… fill in your own “haftas”. That’s what makes me crazy and makes me want to say, “No, I don’t have to!”
This Christmas was about “wanna”. I wanted to bake buns and treats to give to my neighbours and co-workers. I wanted to send cards; I wanted to MAKE those cards. I wanted to have a nice quiet day with my husband. I didn’t want to visit friends, make a lot of phone calls (I did call my mother) or do anything out of obligation.
Yes, it would have been nice to have family around, but that brings along with it a lot of “haftas” of it’s own. If there are grandchildren around, I’d feel obligated to buy gifts. If there was family coming over, we’d be obligated to spend a lot more time in the kitchen and less time with our guests. All of a sudden, you’re caught up in the “haftas” and you’ve lost the “wannas”.
Christmas should never make you feel obligated to do something you don’t really want to do. It should be a time of “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all people”; how can you have that kind of sentiment when you’re feeling pressured with the “haftas” and resenting every moment of it?
I’ve just now realized that my gift to myself this year was the best one I could have given… the gift of “want to”, not “have to”. For the first time in a very long time, I’m coming out of the Christmas season feeling much more relaxed and peaceful than I have in a very long time. Isn’t that what it’s all about?