The holidays tend to be overly charged with emotion for most people, whether it be an excessive excitement for the constant celebration or a disdain for the race to keep up with what others possess. I would say that I tend to fall closer to the excessive excitement side. I could spend the winter months reciting the mantra of the despairing disabled woman who just wants to be like everybody else, but I just have no desire to be that person. I spent my entire childhood feeling angry at the world because of my disabilities, but I always found reasons to be excited about the holidays.
Part of what makes holidays empowering is the sense of equality in being able to make a holiday special in my own way. Within the past 30 years, commercialization of holidays has placed an expectation on individuals to celebrate through the possession of things. Regardless of purchase power, holidays are intended as a time for celebrating, and I try to make certain I celebrate in mind and spirit. I focus on obtainable pleasure and fun.
Holidays are also enlightening, because they remind me to appreciate the little things. I tend to race through my day, especially a work day, without really taking any time to reflect on the things going well. Holidays slow time down for a moment and allow me to “stop and smell the roses,” with the roses typically being the luxury of sleeping in late or eating corned beef hash in my pjs at 10:00 am.
I often find the empowering and enlightening nature of holidays to act as a sort of reset button for my ambitions and self-esteem. A single day off here or there may not seem like much, but it really can be quite nourishing. Again, the holidays are what I make them.
And so… I am excited about the holidays!