It’s two weeks until Halloween and I just saw my first Christmas advertisement. I’ll be honest, it made me a little sick to my stomach. I’m just barely beginning to adjust to summer being over, and now the commercial world wants me to be thinking of winter, red and green lights, the smell of pine trees, and gifts with big bows. No thanks. Not yet.
As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m on a mission to enjoy my life. Appreciate being alive. And ultimately take care of myself. And that absolutely includes ignoring the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas - the pressure, the family, the expense - is very anxiety inducing to me, so yeah, not going down that rabbit hole. At least not now; not when the trees are just barely taking on the colors of autumn and temperatures are still in the sweatshirt rather than coat levels. On the flip side of that declaration, I am actually going to try very hard to participate in the holidays. Halloween included. Just... on my own terms.
I’ve never been one to dress up in a costume and party. I’ve only carved pumpkins a couple times as an adult. I’m not a big candy lover. And in the past I’ve been too cheap to fork out the outrageous amount of money it costs to buy real, actual, apple cider. Although omitting myself from holidays is infinitely less stressful for me, it also leaves me feeling more than a little left out. I don’t want to dress up in a ‘slutty elmo’ costume, I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes, and no, I absolutely will not be watching any scary movies, but you know what... I would enjoy an autumn walk through some leaves and yes, I most certainly am going to carve pumpkins this year. I might even make a pumpkin pie.
Not wanting to do the “normal” thing for the holidays - raging party on Halloween, giant family get-together on Thanksgiving, and a mountain of materialistic presents on Christmas - doesn’t mean I can’t participate in the season in my own way. It doesn’t mean I should deny myself the sliver of enjoyment I get from certain parts of holiday traditions. Having social anxiety. Wanting to stick to a budget. Not wanting to get stupidly drunk. Not wanting to listen to Christmas carols... shouldn’t mean I have to be a Scrooge for for three months of the year. So I’m not going to let it. And on top of that, I’m done apologizing for what I don’t like and don’t do.
What I do and do not like about the holidays is just as much a part of me, my preferences, my personality, as what I do and do not like about music, books, clothes, games, sports, movies, or any other aspect of optional activities in life. This is me. I’m going to enjoy my life, just the way I like.
And I suggest you do the same. With no apologies needed.