The other day I was shopping at a store and I overheard a woman raise her voice to one of the store clerks. She was upset because the store didn’t carry the item she wanted. At the time I’m sure she thought the answer was to take her frustrations out on the store clerk. After the woman left, my friends and I voiced our opinions about the situation to the store clerk and the other cashiers. We all shared a laugh about the holiday season and how crazy it gets. The woman was upset over a thing. The item she wanted was not something any of us really need. When I witnessed the outburst I couldn’t help but feel empathetic for the store clerk. However, on my walk home I started thinking about the woman. The thing she was upset about was probably something on her to-do-list that day that just needed to get done. She might have been running around doing errands all morning for all I knew.
I realized that this time of year can really increase our stress levels and maybe bring out a bit of the worst in us at times. I’ve definitely been that person before, especially at this time of year. I’ve been rude and impatient because I’m just trying to cross things off my never-ending list. I can think back to many holiday seasons where I’ve poorly planned holiday events and done everything at the last minute. I’ve gone over my holiday budget. I’ve over committed myself to things that don’t really matter and the commitment prevents me from spending time with the people I love. I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but witnessing that exchange at the store got me to thinking of why we do this to ourselves during the holidays? All of these habits I’m guilty of that leave me feeling stressed and annoyed could not be further from the spirit and meaning of the holiday season.
You could argue that it is the digital age of our society that causes us to over commit at this time of year. But here’s a secret I just discovered – the holiday season has been exhausting for years! I found a vintage women’s magazine recently at a second-hand book store from 1955. It was their Christmas edition and I could not believe it when I opened the magazine to find their featured article. It was a calendar filled with Christmastime to-dos and reminders for the everyday homemaker. Any reader of this magazine would immediately feel obliged to start following the recommended tasks. I was reading the magazine myself and I started feeling guilty that I hadn’t even thought of half the items!
Shortly after my immediate reaction of stress, I had a good laugh about this calendar and magazine in general. I thought to myself, this is why I get so stressed at this time of year. I’ve been taught to make the holiday season completely over-the-top based on the traditions of previous generations. I thought back to the woman in the store and wondered how many items were on her errand list that day. Looking at my own to-do list, I had fifteen items on the list. All of them were obligations, except for this blog. I appreciated that I wrote this blog entry on the list because I thought why not add more of the fun things to our holiday schedules? This season is about joy and we need to make time for the things that bring us happiness.
With that in mind, I’ve started my New Year’s Resolutions early this year by adding one thing to my daily agenda that brings me joy during this holiday season. Here are some of the things I’ve added so far:
To all the readers of Fanciful Impressions, I wish you all a happy and stress-free holiday season and thank you so much for your visits to the Fanciful Impressions Blog. Let me know what activities reduce your stress during this time of year.
If you are new to this blog, welcome! Feel free to follow Fanciful Impressions on Social Media for more vintage inspiration posted weekly.
Happy Holidays :)