The festive season starts around the time Black Friday deals and Black Friday ads are bombarded in our faces. So, let’s say mid-November. According to the Universal channel, it is from the 1st of November @3PM every day for typical Christmas movie, no need to ask me how I know that, I just do ;). Okay, I am a sucker for Christmas movie, the unrealistic romance just flutters my heart. Nice living in a fantasy sometimes.
I used to have conflicting feelings towards the concept of Black Friday. At some point in my life I had read that around Thanksgiving, a holiday celebrated mostly in the US and other parts of the world, slave owners would sell their slaves at a discount in the spirit of Thanksgiving and being grateful for what you have. That really was just sick. Recently, whilst trying to verify this so that I am accurate enough, I read that the term Black Friday was first used in application to a financial crisis in the US gold market in the 1800s, so it was on a Friday in September when the Wall Street stock market went bankrupts. Lastly, it is also a retailers used term going “in the black” meaning after an entire year of operating at a loss (recorded in red) but after Thanksgiving holiday shoppers are crazy about the discounts. This last one is what we witness every year, but what I would like to add is that I hear chatter about shops inflating their prices before, around September/October then bringing them back down to normal prices and presenting them as discounts. This sucks too. Enough with these suck-ish stories about the origins of Black Friday.
The festive season is upon us, a time to reconnect, to end the year on a positive note (hopefully) with family. For many people the season is just like any other, nothing spectacular happening. Others take the opportunity to travel locally or internationally for a temporary change of scenery. What ever you do and with whom is up to you. there is no right way to be festive.
I want to share my thoughts and experiences around this festive time. Throughout my entire life it has always been pretty standard. I just finished school for the year. Gone back home because I was always away from home during school terms. I think every boarder would know that the first week of being home for the holidays is filled with rest, some pampering from people who missed you (maybe not too much) and recovery from boarding school traumas and drama, whatever that may be.
The festive season with the whole white Christmas and presents under the Christmas tree is just dreams sold by the movies. Finding love and that “under the mistletoe” kiss could only happen in my dreams. No, no, we don’t do that here, not in SA anyways. Instead for me, on the Christmas day, it just the designated annual family luncheon day. Every year without fail my whole family with some invited guests come to the house to share a meal, a drink, a dance and some laughs. Overall it is a beautiful day but I would be lying if I were to say it doesn’t get tiring every year, only because I crave change sometimes, maybe a new venue would be cool, just for one year, you know. I say this over and over but it is always taken as a joke. I am starting to think I’m the joke.
I love my family to the moon and back and I wouldn’t mind being around them all day, every day. However I do strongly believe a change of setting would be good for us. I think this because my family used to be huge and I would be so happy on the 25th of December, I would sleep late on the 24th and wake up super early as though I was receiving gifts under the tree, but I knew the whole house was going to be crowded but I did not mind. I loved that atmosphere, it was exhilarating. Now, with so many deaths over the years and, the decrease in the amount of people around on the 25th being so visible, one could almost feel the emptiness. It hurts and it is only recently I came across this blog post by Jenny in Neverland
It’s a good read and I find it fitting, especially for this year, given the pandemic and unexpected losses some might have experienced this year. My heartfelt condolences to all families and I hope that blog post above helps in some way.
Normally what we do around the festive season excluding the 25th of December is a bit of travel to some place that I have never been. If I have been there, then we try to make it a new experience. It is not all about be, but I have a father who travels for a living so, chances are he has been there. I used to and still look forward to these trips but over the years things change, people are no longer with us, like my mom since the divorce and sister who does not like taking leave in December, she says “that is the best time to work because everyone is gone and the roads are empty.” I never used to understand that as a child but I also wonder if I would ever have the same thoughts because obviously when in school you are on leave without choice.
Due to my routine like events around the festive season, I have been curious about you, what do you do around this time of year. Does Christmas have any meaning to you? And what are some traditions you carry out yearly?
Firstly, did you see all those gorgeous-looking people, that needs to be acknowledged. So, love, family and food, you cannot go wrong there, but can I get free presents too (hahaha, kidding (no, I’m not, shh!)). The point of this video was first, to be as diverse as possible, some people see the day as a religious day by going to church and acknowledging the birth of Christ, and others not. However, in our diversity there is quite a lot of common ground to show that we care about the same two things, (1) family and (2) the power of sharing a meal to bring us, “the distant cousins”, closer together. That is just beautiful, not sure about it being as magical as that mistletoe kiss but we work with what we’ve got.
Whatever your festive season looks like, my wish for you is that you find rest, joy and energy to walk into the New Year like a boss! This year has been hard to deal with but it shows that we are able to overcome anything the universe throws at us. Cliché: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
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Many thanks for reading, love and light.