Sunday, 11 November 2007

A Holiday proposal

Call me Scrooge. Even in years when we have a nice get-together with friends or family I hate the frantic build-up. I hate the Hallmark/Hollywood reinforced suggestion that one is missing out if life is not filled with glittering and/or deeply meaningful gatherings.

December is the month when one feels depressed about not getting invited to parties that one would not enjoy much anyway. I am not a good party person. I prefer people in small batches.

At this time of year I really enjoy withdrawing into myself. This is not depression, more contented hibernation. Happiness is a pile of books, a good internet connection and a pot of tea.

It is amazing how many people one meets with the same reaction. My friend Els has a solitary Christmas ritual. She did plenty of the usual when her four children and numerous foster children were home. But these days she declines all invitations from friends and family. She lights a fire, puts on Christmas music, unwraps a chocolate treat and settles down for the day to read. Some beloved Christmas stories are on the reading list. She gleefully reports that many women, knee-deep in guests and kitchen stress, have expressed envy.

So I have a proposal. 

We get to keep the days off. We need a break at that time of year. We mark the Winter Solstice, whether as a secular seasonal celebration or a religious holiday. By the way, this pagan will happily wish you a Merry Christmas.

But let's move that whole busy card-writing visiting-present-giving party-going thing to the Spring Equinox. 
By the time of the Spring Equinox we feel restless and ready to crawl out of the winter cave, but the gardens are not happening yet. In climates where gardens are happening it is not panic season yet. What a perfect time to socialize!
How about it?

P.S. This is Northern-hemisphere centric. 

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