For More Peace Slow Your Pace
“Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” ~Dave Barry
Here we go: Holiday season is upon us once again.
A mad dash to get orders in on time, make purchases, and put packages in the mail.
Christmas carols playing on radio stations and in stores.
Lights going up on trees inside the house and on porches outside.
Starts earlier and earlier each year.
I think it’s because we want to get into the “Holiday Spirit” sooner—the perceived calm, and joy, and love, and feeling of connection.
We want more of those feelings, and sooner. I mean, just look at the turbulence of the current world landscape; of course, we want what we label the Holiday Spirit, but whose real name is peace.
“Peace is joy at rest; joy is peace dancing.” ~Unknown
But then…we sabotage the very experience for which we long by making it about stuff and things and social obligations and to-do lists. We push ourselves to the point of exhaustion in our pursuit of the “holiday spirit.”
People planning, and doing, and shopping and running.
People searching for parking spots on lots and at Malls, on streets and in large garages.
People pursuing the perfect purchase.
Nothing peaceful about much of that.
Seems we often do a lot of chasing in December, all in an attempt to capture some idealized experience, some reminder of what truly matters.
It may be my age, but increasingly, I find myself resisting the pressure inherent in the pageantry that accompanies many holidays, not just Christmas: They have been diluted by consumerism and easy access; we’re one ‘click’ away from whatever we want year-round.
And so I try to give memories to my family rather than things. Or something they truly need, not only want. Or something I made for them.
My line in the sand: refusing to purchase plastic toys for my grandkids. What pleases now, may plague in the future.
But peace? It’s a both/and option on the daily ballot.
So maybe slow down this season and remember that the best way to feel connected, and loved, and joyful, is not to be found by running toward it, but rather by walking with it.