Are you a big fan of the Christmas holiday season? I hope so, because if you are not, you are probably already completely sick of being surrounded by it. There is no doubt that Christmas is a big thing in society, and its impact ranges from things we hear, to things we see, to the way that we spend our money.
There are a lot of things that are associated with the holiday season that makes you feel nostalgia towards your youth, when Christmas was just a different holiday all together. As an adult you may find the season more stressful than anything else, but try explaining that to a 5-year-old who believes in Santa and literally thinks Christmas is the best day of the entire year. This stress is increased all the more by the increasing pressure that society is placing on you to feel that in order to show people you love them, you must spend money. Of course that is a crazy notion and money doesn't equal love, but people severely hamper their bank accounts every year around the holidays, and that can cause damage that extends into the new year.
That being said, there are so many amazing things that go into the holiday season. You can turn on the radio and be uplifted by the familiar Christmas songs, and drive down the street and marvel at the amazing Christmas lights that people put up. Not to mention that if Christmas was something that you enjoyed as a child, now you hopefully get the opportunity to pass that joy onto someone younger than you.
For every advantage, there may be a disadvantage that comes with the Holiday season, but if you are around people who love it, do your best to focus on the positives. This can be an amazing time of year, and it never hurts to try and get into the Christmas spirit!
15 How It Is Marketed
There is no busier time for businesses than the holiday season, so at least it is understandable why everything is marketed to the extreme in December. It doesn’t make it any less annoying to be driving down the street, and be reminded that if you love your partner you need to get her a diamond bracelet from Kay’s. The holiday time can be stressful for people, and it can be hard to constantly see things that you want either for yourself or others, but are unable to afford. This is true for any time of year, but it is never any more stressful than in the month of December.
14 The Music Gets Repetitive
This one could really fall into either the love, or hate category. Personally, I can really get into Christmas music, but that only really lasts a day or so before I start getting a little bit tired of it. That doesn’t work so well when you consider that Christmas music invades the airways and society at large for a large portion of November and all of December. It’s hard to blame them, these songs are really only relevant for 1.5 months all year, but that just means I get tired of them all the quicker. There are some great classic songs out there, but they get ruined when they’re sandwiched between "Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," and "The Hippopotamus Song."
13 The Malls Get Insane
If you ever wondered if you liked the general public, spending a day at the mall in December will remind you that people can be rude, and really do suck some days. The malls, and shopping in general, get absolutely crazy as people rush to get the last minute perfect gift. You can always say that you are going to go earlier next year, but you never do! It can be really frustrating to spend an entire day in the mall, but make minimal progress because of the sheer amount of people (not to mention the quickly dwindling stock of every cool item).
12 It’s Expensive
One of the biggest knocks with the holiday season, is that it can be incredibly expensive. This can include things like flying home to see family, but there are no shortage of expenses around the holiday season (apparently Christmas Tree's aren't free?). This is okay if you have some cash stored away, but if you are living paycheque to paycheque, then the Holiday season can really set you back. Some of the best gifts can absolutely not cost money, or be rich in thoughtfulness (not price tag) but if you have a big family or social circle that is still a lot of people to get ‘something small’ for.
11 It’s Stressful
There is no doubt that the holiday season can be incredibly stressful across several areas of your life. At work, the year is wrapping up and that can sometimes cause extra work, depending on your type of job. The holidays, as mentioned, can also stretch you pretty thin financially and that is also stressful. Given that the weather is cold, and it's probably not so nice out, it may make you quickly pine for the days of summer. There are absolutely payoffs to all the stress that you need to endure, but it doesn’t make people feel any less relaxed in the middle of December.
10 You May Have To See Family
This is absolutely an advantage or disadvantage purely based off the relationship you have with your family. If you get the opportunity to see them, this can be one of the best moments of your entire year and be full of love and support. For others, seeing their family can be an incredibly unhealthy and negative experience. Not everyone comes from healthy family dynamics, and being forced to see your family around the holidays can really put a damper on things, as well as really ramp up your overall level of stress. The last thing you want to do at Christmas dinner is get into a fist-fight with Uncle Jimmy, so let's hope that if you don't agree with your family, cooler heads can still prevail.
9 Christmas Trees
Christmas Trees are one of my favourite things to see every year. Whether it is the small Charlie Brown themed one behind me, or the big ones that filled my parents' house growing up, Christmas trees are always a great treat. You can bond with your family as you decorate them, they look fantastic, and when it is up you are definitely more likely to start seeing gifts work their way to the base of that tree! Just make sure that you don’t leave your tree up for too long at the end of the Christmas season; it doesn’t look pretty once the tree is past its "beauty date" and can take up unnecessary space any month of the year that isn’t December.
8 Christmas Lights
I’m going to be honest, I was not the best at putting up the Christmas lights, but are they ever amazing once they get up! One of the best traditions that you can do in Vancouver every year, is go to Stanley Park and get to see all the different Christmas lights done up. It’s colourful, it allows you to be creative and some people have done some seriously impressive stuff that can make for some great image searching when bored at work. You might never be able to set your own lights up to the theme of music, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate it when Bill from down the street does!
7 7. Giving Presents
When I was younger, one of the biggest appeals was to receive presents. However, as I got older, as many find, one of my favorite things is to now be the one giving out the presents. It’s a lot different when you have your own income and are allowed to take some time out of your day to pick out something thoughtful for your friends, family or significant other. It is hopeful that whoever you give the present to is appreciative of your effort, and it can be a great way to bond and connect with people that you are close to.
6 Receiving Presents
While this is not as much fun as getting to give presents, I’ll never complain when people that love me give me something to help represent that. It can be different when you typically just buy for yourself whatever you want, but that just makes any gift that someone gets you all the more thoughtful. Not to mention that there are hopefully items out there that you really want, but can’t justify buying yourself because it isn’t necessarily a "practical purchase." Well, Christmas is all about getting things that are thoughtful above all else, and hopefully there will be people in your life to make you feel loved and appreciated.
5 Watching TV Christmas Specials!
Christmas specials are one of the best parts of any holiday season. There is just something magical about being able to get a cup of hot chocolate and still sit down and watch the same TV cartoons that you did as a kid. Call it nostalgia, but Christmas doesn’t feel the same if you are not able to embrace your inner child, and Christmas specials are the best way to do that. No matter which one was your favourite (staring at you, Rudolph!) there is no doubt that the Christmas specials are not entertaining. If you get the opportunity to watch with a younger child, it can be a great experience to watch them bond and relate to the characters like you did when you were younger.
4 Christmas Movies!
Christmas TV specials are fantastic, but they aren’t nearly as great as Christmas movies! This year we are seeing some weird ones like the horror film Krampus, but there are also uplifting ones! I have seen A Christmas Story more times than I can count, and it doesn’t matter because you need to watch it every holiday season - that’s just how it goes. It can also be great fun to constantly revisit movies that you have watched throughout your life and see how you have changed as a person and whether that has impacted how you relate to the characters. No matter what your favourite one is (Jingle All The Way), there are so many Christmas movies out there that I am sure you’ll find one to make you feel uplifted.
3 Snow! (Possibly)
This is absolutely not true to parts of the world, like for our buddies in Australia, but for a lot of people the holiday season is equated with snow. Whether you hate or love snow, it definitely has an impact on your overall holiday season. You may hate it, and as a result, start spending your Christmas in a different climate. If you love it, that’s also great and it can make for some fantastic imagery as you stay nestled inside while watching snow drift down on Christmas. Not to mention that snow allows for a lot of great holiday activities such as sledding or snowboarding. You just have to hope you don’t have a massive driveway to shovel every time it snows!
2 Amazing/Too Much Christmas Food
One of the payoffs that come with dealing with in-laws, is that you’re probably going to get a pretty amazing dinner out of it. This is all the bigger reason to make sure you try and have a positive attitude throughout the day, or it might be super awkward when you go for a 3rd helping of your Aunt Val’s pasta. Christmas can also be great for the reason that if there is an excess of food, there are hopefully no shortage of willing hands to help take home some leftovers and that makes everyone's next week easier in terms of preparing meals. Just make sure that if you are consuming a huge Christmas dinner, that you are also in near vicinity to a couch or bed because a nap might be the next thing on your to-do list.
Santa is one of the best things about the holiday season. Sure, maybe not the incredibly long lines to go see him in the mall, but just look at the excitement in those young kids! It’s great to know that we have such a big cultural figure, that still generates to much happiness in children and adults around the world. Whether you love Santa because of the character's role in some entertainment films (such as The Santa Claus with Tim Allen), or just love the classic image, there is no doubting that Santa is one of the best parts of the holiday season. Unfortunately, he may become one of the worst things when you accidentally spill the beans to a young child!