blogging · holidays · life

Holiday Spirit

Over the years my general reaction to holidays is to ignore them or briefly take note that a holiday is coming up, but I do nothing to celebrate it.

The holiday I focused on a lot as a kid was Christmas because I liked seeing snow during winter and getting presents. My family had a Christmas tree in our living room then. It was decorated with shiny ornaments and had lights strewn around it that blinked and glowed in different colors when they were turned on at night. There was one year my mother hung wrapped candy canes on some parts of the tree. But the best part was the big star ornament secured at the top. The tree was a fond memory for me because in later years after we got a dog, we no longer had the tree up because it would have potentially been dangerous for a pet. As a kid, getting presents felt like the best thing ever. I was a child who was easily pleased with material things, although my least favorite presents were clothes, lol. I don’t know when presents stopped meaning much and I no longer felt there was much meaning in getting them. Christmas no longer was a big deal to me by the time I was almost out of junior high school. In recent years, I shy away when my family asks what present I would like for Christmas. I behave similarly for my own birthday, where I don’t wish for the fanfare of a big celebration or to be treated like I need to be spoiled. I am so timid about presents now because I don’t want to be selfish and because I don’t really have my own income (I’m unemployed right now). So I’m very reluctant to ask people for things.

Halloween is coming up. I never went trick or treating before as a child, although I liked pretending to dress up at home as a princess. I didn’t really have a costume except for a bride’s headdress I played around with. Kids would ring the doorbell for candy, and there was a year during the holiday that I peeked out the front window after someone rung the bell. I got a shock from seeing a kid in the infamous Scream white ghoul mask. It scared me so much I refused to open the door. I was in the company of a babysitter and my brother since my parents weren’t home yet. The both of them laughed at my horrified reaction and I had to beg my brother to not answer the door. My favorite candy to eat on Halloween was the white and red peppermint rolls. I never understood the point of candy corn though. It tasted like nothing to me. Reese’s butter cups was fun to eat too.

Nowadays when a holiday comes, I don’t see it as special. Just because other people around me celebrate it doesn’t mean I have to, or I don’t have to celebrate it in the same way others do. Acknowledging the holiday to myself is enough. The most I do for holidays is go shopping to get discounts on stuff. For Christmas, I might watch the yearly parade. For New Year’s, I’ll watch the Times Square ball drop, or not bother and just go to bed, lol. For some upcoming holidays, I feel inspired to make gifts, such as on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, although sometimes it’s a burden to have a deadline to finish my gifts on time.

I guess my apathy about holidays is somewhere in between being too lazy to get into the holiday spirit by putting up decorations and planning to be festive with my loved ones, and also not knowing what’s the right way for me to celebrate without feeling like I have to compete with how other people are celebrating. An example is how some people go all out with their Christmas light decorations. There’s even a place in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn where the whole neighborhood is famous for their displays and many go there in December to walk around and snap photos. Maybe this year I can honor the Christmas holiday by exploring the area with some of my family. I’m not very good at spending holidays with extended family members. Most of the time I avoid them as I am not comfortable getting together with people I typically am not in regular contact with.

How do you feel about certain holidays? Which ones do you like/dislike the most? If you celebrate any, what are you favorite ways to be festive?

One thought on “Holiday Spirit

  1. I love and hate the holidays at the same time. I love festivities. Halloween is fun to get in the spooky mood and to dress up if you can. Thanksgiving is nice for being around family, and right after Thanksgiving we start getting ready for Christmas. I love the lights, I love giving gifts, but I hate how commercialized the holidays are nowadays. Thanksgiving gets ruined by Black Friday starting on the holiday now. It’s all about gifts, not about the feeling of the holidays – and that’s the part I love. Because it’s cold outside, but there’s a warmth to the holidays. I just hate how it revolves around how much money you spend these days.

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