If you think it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit this year, you’re not wrong. When the news cycle feature Donald Trump’s many unqualified and questionable cabinet appointments, Aleppo’s heart-breaking ruin, Russia’s involvement in our recent presidential election, and subsequent reports of hate speech, it reveals our nation is in a state of discontent. The election showed the world that America is polarized in its views and on its identity of as a country. We are not a united states. And the next four years will test every single one of us.
With all this said, I cannot emphasize enough that we must celebrate the end of year holidays. Here are three reasons why:
Holidays Provide Necessary Space
In many ways, the holidays may seem like a distraction from reality. It most likely doesn’t feel right to simply divert away from the ill happening in the world to engage in the holiday festivities--and I’m not saying you should ignore everything happening. But these moments and spaces with family and friends are crucial. They are opportunities to recognize your surroundings and the important company you have. Most importantly, the holidays help fuel our motivations.
Holidays usually bring forth pleasant and happy energy. We need these happy moments in our lives to rejuvenate. It is in these precious moments that we remember what’s important to us and why we must work towards doing good in the world. This is perspective. Holidays are moments of levity and love in spaces with people that can cultivate those precious feelings. The happy moments help move us forward.
Holidays Are A Constant
You may have heard the phrase, “it’s that time of year again” used routinely throughout the year. It’s indicative of a concept that should be re-emphasized: despite the unpredictability of life, we have in place a cyclical structure for how our time is spent. Our society instinctively follows how the sun and moon rise and fall each day and how the seasons forces us to adapt. These natural happenings remind us that our world survives because of the constants we cannot and should not dispute. There are some things in this world that should never cease or be taken away.
Holidays are an example of such constants. You may not be able to attend every holiday and you may not want to either. But we cannot abandon the timely celebration of holidays. The holidays denote the unstoppable turn of the world, in which we can always expect a promotion of warm gatherings with loved ones and good tidings every year. This is how we maintain normalcy and the standard of love, charity, and goodness that we should uphold, even beyond the holiday season.
Holidays Are Where We Initiate Change
We are heading into a new year in which the decisions by our legislatives leaders and representatives may threaten the basic freedom and rights of many citizens. This threat spurs many to action: to engage in activism and voice their concerns. There are reliable facts and statistics that provide basis in the contention for these dangerous decisions. But the numbers don’t quite do enough justice for the individuals represented by these statistics.
This is why the change we want to see begins at home. It is in the intimate spaces, like where we frequent for the holidays, that provide the best platform for the issues that matter to us. It helps us put a face to those affected by an issue. When issues affect our family, friends, and co-workers or we show them how issues affect us, the situation becomes far more personal and meaningful. It allows for more compassionate discourse and collaboration. But most importantly, it allows for open-mindedness. Holidays are instances in which we can cultivate and initiate change in a safe space. Then, it can grow beyond the limits of our home.