Thursday, March 21, 2013

Too Much Holiday?

I give a shout out to Domenico Bettinelli for sharing this article:

Can We Bring the Holidays Down a Notch? by Kristen Howerton

When is too much too much?

As much as I try to memorialize each holiday and each birthday around this house with thoughtful feeling, I found myself sighing and whispering "Yes! Yes! Yes!" on so many points the author made.

As we silenced our St. Joseph Altar last night at CCD (after a weekend of kicking myself for still not initiating one in my own home), I noticed the dryness absorb the marrow in my bones. My mind was furiously clicking ahead to all the upcoming ceremonies and events which are all good and beautiful, but still...

They never end.

Nor should they. Those ceremonies and events are part of life and it's joyful news that we are in good health and well-being to celebrate them. I don't want them to end. Still...

I do want my children to remember each and every one of them. Still...

When ceremonies and events are combined between home and school and church...we end up with a torrential overflow.

I remember Easter and Christmas as being mega celebrations from my youth and our Elf-on-the-Shelf only sat on the tree. He didn't fly, he didn't go to the North Pole and report to Santa every night, he didn't write on mirrors with toothpaste, he didn't poop peppermint drops, he didn't bake fudge. He just sat.

But he was special in his own way. And he still just sits on the annual Christmas tree. And he's still special today.

Like the author, I recall St. Patrick's Day as being a day to remember my brother's patron saint and to make sure your green was noticeably showing. Adding green dye to the toilet water is simple enough and maybe having a green shake or smoothie is ok.

But the overload of it all. Whew!

Kristen Howerton is absolutely correct and I think I know what has happened.

It's called the Internet.

Nowadays there are too many ideas out there in this land of Too-Much-of-Too-Much.
Just toooooo much! Everyone leaps onto the holiday wagon and, before we know it, we've forgotten to feed the horse in favor of decorating the wagon.

I guess the early years of parenting are a time to give traditions trial runs and learn from the overload. By the time the grandchildren begin arriving we realize how superficial it all is and we learn to scale back and re-evaluate the meaning of what we're doing and why we do it. Not to mention, we're able to unload the guilt-factor from our shoulders and release it onto the shoulders of the new parents. Maybe that's all it is.

But, no, I still insist the Internet is the culprit.

When I was a new mother I had only my family's past traditions to pull from as I tried to implement my husband's family traditions. Maybe a book or magazine column hinted at something more but I did not feel pressured or overwhelmed. I could choose it or not. Weaving family traditions together was all that was important and all that we needed. Those traditions had memories and history which mod-podged our families celebrations.

Today is different. Through technology and social media, we find ourselves caught up in everyone else's plans, everyone else's ideas, everyone else's better-than-my-own life, everyone else's family traditions which have no meaning, no history, and no storyline in our own families.

And we add their good to our good and end up with holiday overload.

I've played dress-up with holiday ideas and expectations as well and found it exhausting.

When is simple enough, good enough?

When is wearing green, green enough?

When is chocolate bunnies, sweet enough?

When is social media, social enough?

When is enjoying family, enjoyment enough?

1 comment:

  1. Dear Cay,

    Thank you and amen! I think you hit the nail on the head--the internet gives us instant access to EVERYTHING. And not everything is good for my family. We choose carefully what to do, which celebrations have meaning for us. The other stuff, we just watch as others enjoy. Again, thank you for saying this. Have a Blessed Holy Week and Joyous Easter.


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