Monday, February 2, 2009

I Love Holidays, So What??

I think I have come to a realization about myself today: Ok, I'm a fairly intelligent person, and I consider myself to be a critical thinker -- I don't buy into every supposed social norm, I don't blindly follow trends or popular ideologies, and I often question the status quo. First of all, this is part of my job, and secondly, it is just an annoying habit I can't break. But, I realized [while pondering all the fun Valentine's Day posts I want to do on my blog], that I love holidays [consumer-driven as they are], and obviously I love to shop for myself and, what gives? Are these things incompatible with being critical-minded? Next question: Do I care?

The way I see it , life is short and often tedious and painful. I like to have some fun now and again. I like to be creative. I like a little diversity and distraction. We all do. I think holidays can provide something very wonderful and necessary: they allow us to take a break from the norm; they remind us to think of others and be generous; and they give us an excuse to act a bit like children [play games, make things, decorate, send cards or special e-mails, or simply take the day off to relax with loved ones]. And yes, buying things can be part of it, too...if you want. I know some people might say that we should make time to do all of these things without a holiday to force us to, but let's just admit that everyday life, responsibilities, and stresses often take center-stage. I think if we didn't have the holidays to jolt us out of the ordinary and mundane, that we might just get sucked into a black-hole of work and chores.

I admit that I am lucky and that I have the ability to buy gifts [albeit small] for people I care about on holidays; I also admit that others might not be so lucky, and I'm not certain how to reconcile the unfairness of that. Perhaps I'm writing this post to resolve some sort of guilt I think I should feel for being so holiday-happy, but I really think I just want to let that go and allow myself to enjoy it all. Any excuse to have fun and enjoy life seems like a a damn good idea right now! I just hope that whether or not I have money to "buy into" the consumerism associated with holidays, that I will at least always be able to enjoy the lovely things that holidays allow us to partake in. So, I'm just going to milk Valentine's and every other corny holiday for all it's worth ;)

Now, on an entirely consumer-driven note, if anyone can find this Sonia Rykiel tee for me anywhere [even a cheap rip-off], I will send you a big box of chocolates and a great big kiss:




Laminated Fragments said...

Okay, so I guess I should start by saying that I have a very antagonistic relationship to holidays and gift giving/receiving. You can say that I hate almost every holiday with a passion. Some of the hate is because the holidays are perversions of what they used to be in long time past. Like Easter is about Jesus or some bunny, when in reality it was around long before either of them. Anyways, I have this stock phrase that I tell my family members that "holidays are nothing more than a capitalist mode of control." They often laugh and mock me for it. But it is what I believe. So, my response to my feelings and my antagonism is to make other days more special. No one celebrates Feb 6th, besides maybe some people born on that day, but I may choose that as I day to take a friend to lunch and give them a gift. Those of my close friends know that even though I may not celebrate holidays with them, we often create our own often very special days that are remembered.

Brigid said...

I've always been into celebrating and holidays as a result. I love birthdays and any other kind of special occasion. Materialism has little to do with it. I just think life is more interesting when you have something to celebrate.

Dugout Daisy said...

I feel the same way you do about these days we call holidays. Life is too short and if taking a day to have a little fun and happiness, then by golly, I am in!


Fashion Addict said...

Oh I know how you feel about that certain guilt that you have when it comes to considering all the unfairness. But I think we should just be happy for what we are capable of doing and just enjoy life!

BTW, I'm hosting a Valentine's Day contest and I would love it if you entered! Please check back at my blog for more details!

Michelle said...

Holidays are one of my favorite things. Especially Valentine's Day. I don't even like doing anything really, I just spend the entire day being ecstatic that we have A WHOLE DAY devoted to love!

detailsofthefabric said...

This was a really great post to read. =) I share your sentiments exactly about holidays. There are some people who absolutely abhor consumerism-driven holidays like Christmas/Valentine's and I respect that but I'm one of the gullible members of the public who fall into that consumerist trap willingly every year. Holidays are basically just another day of the year and one can choose to let it slip by uncelebrated, insipid, forgetabbly, or one can choose to let go of inhibitions, make the day special for herself and for the people around her. It's about putting meaning into what could otherwise be an insignificant day that makes me love these holidays.

And you don't have to be very rich in order to have a good time. Sometimes the simplest/hand made gifts are the ones that make the entire day special. =)

I love that Sonia Rykiel T btw! Very very cute! Where'd you find it? On the main website?

ana b. said...

I love holidays because they give me time to breathe! More than any other point in history, we are so time-poor. Which is dissonant with the leaps and bounds in technology which are supposed to have saved us so much time - washing machines, cellphones, computers, etc etc.

michiko said...

Loving holidays is a good thing, I can assure you, after seeing so many Japanese people who work too hard and put too much stresses on themselves....we Japanese tend to be too serious and too loyal, we forget to have fun. we absolutely suck at enjoying ourselves at parties and on holidays.
So keep loving holidays!!

[Tara] said...

laminated -- I totally understand this, and yes, much of our contemporary notion of what a holiday is centers on consumerism. I guess i've just decided to go with this rather than fight it for two reasons: 1. Why not celebrate on the same day as everyone else, that way we can all enjoy together? 2. I know because of my busy schedule and my terrible habit of getting out of touch with people that if it weren't for holidays to remind me, I would probably go way too long without hanging out/communicating with people (sad, but true!)

brigid -- I totally agree; I look forward to holidays as a break from the "norm".

fashion addict -- I just entered the contest -- hope I have a shot ;)

[Tara] said...

daisy -- I absolutely agree!

michelle -- Good way of putting it! It makes me sad when people say they feel obligated to do certain things for their loved one(s) on V-Day. You should never feel obligated to show someone love -- you should want to do this and appreciate the little reminder to do something special for them.

details -- Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! I agree that we sometimes need a little nudge to make a few days every year a little more special and holidays give us this reminder. BTW, the image of the SR shirt came from Polyvore, but I cannot find the darn thing anywhere - I don't think it is available anymore!!

ana -- Time-poor indeed!! Good way of phrasing it. I am always thankful for this "time to breathe" -- a literal excuse to just forget about the tedium, even just for a day.

[Tara] said...

michiko -- ...perhaps people should remember the motto: "work hard, play hard!"