I am having a more challenging time than usual with the craziness of holiday madness this year. The concept of Black Friday now becoming a week long competition. Stores opening up as early as 1pm on Thanksgiving Day. Cyber Monday deals showing up in my inbox three days early…all of it is literally making me nauseous and leaving me asking the question "can Christmas be magical again?"
Perhaps I am just nostalgic, but I don't remember the madness when I was a kid. I thought maybe this was because I was a kid, but I have had several conversations recently that have led me to the conclusion Christmas did use to be different and it was more magical. Some of the discoveries I have made through memory and conversation include:
--It was a BIG deal to travel into Chicago AFTER Thanksgiving to see the Marshall Field's Christmas windows because they weren't unveiled until the day after Thanksgiving.
--My brother and I literally had a countdown going for when Farm & Fleet would open their Toyland at 8am the day AFTER Thanksgiving.
--Sales were important, but they didn't drive the choosing of gifts. My grandma told me if she had a gift in mind for one of us, she would save up for that item and if it went on sale, that was a bonus, but it was more important to her to give us a meaningful gift. (Interesting to note, I rarely received a store-bought gift from Grandma and Grandpa as she often made gifts for each grandchild, which I treasure to this day.)
--The social norms were different, meaning people didn't want to see Christmas decorations up before Halloween and if they did, they raised a stink about it.
--Perhaps most defining is the fact that my parents made a point to keep the festivities in perspective by creating special traditions and placing an emphasis on giving.
It feels like we have begrudgingly embraced the "bigger is better" and "you snooze, you lose" philosophies when it comes to Christmas, and in doing so, we have lost the simplicity of the season. Christmas is more magical when a cup of cocoa by the fire with loved ones, baking cookies together, going to the tree farm to pick out a tree, and making gifts for one another are the focus and priority. Running to the best sale, piling as many gifts as we can under the tree, filling up our schedules with too many engagements, and picking up cookies at the grocery store because we don't have time to bake all detract from the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is magical when it is done with the deeper perspective because we all become a little more generous, caring, grateful, and joyous during the holiday season. Christmas is meant to center us back into the fact that life is all about relationships and valuing people above all else.
In the spirit of making Christmas more magical this year. click here to download "12 Tips of Christmas" which will give you inspiring ideas to add a little more magic back into your holiday season this year. Merry Magical Christmas!