The aroma of pine needles and coffee entrance my mind as I realize that the holiday season is upon us. This year, I have not felt as much holiday spirit as I have in years past. Actually, as I get older, I tend to feel that the holidays are less and less important. As I grow more mentally and spiritually, I see that maybe this is not as bad as our consumerist culture tells me.
Growing up, I learned at an early age that Santa Claus didn’t slide down the chimney to deliver presents all around the world in 24 hours. I mean really, I don’t think that any child brought up with reasoning skills believes this past the age of five. I was always taught that Jesus was the “reason for the season”, thus getting a minimal amount of gifts. As a matter of fact, I envied the kids that got two Christmases because their parents were divorced. All this being said, I am thankful for the way that I was raised, because it has molded my views on the holidays now.
Regardless of religious beliefs, there is a important lesson of happiness that the holiday season can teach people. Some people see the holiday season as a time of cheer, some as a time of financial obligation, and some as a time of familial obligation. No matter how one sees it, most people hold high expectations of the holiday season, thus giving in to the American consumerist culture.
If we could release the expectation connected with the holiday season, we would be able to release the materialistic views that are connected with it. We would also be able to release the sense of obligation that comes along with the expectation. Then what would be the point?
The sole purpose of the holiday season is happiness, but what if we practiced the spirit of the holidays every day? If we learn to release expectation and obligation during the holidays, wouldn’t it be presumed that we would be able to do that daily? Similarly, if we’re able to be happy during the holiday season, couldn’t we practice the same rituals that make us happy whether or not it is the holiday season?
My point here is that if we practice letting go of expectation every day, we will see less importance in materialism and more importance in pure happiness.