Holidays Started Early This Year.
By: María Alejandra Pulgar
Social psychology studies have demonstrated that the happiest places on Earth are those areas where people practice gratitude and celebrate frequently, even the simplest of occasions.
Given all that has been going on in the world recently, the fact that we have reached this point of 2021 alive and healthy is definitely worth celebrating, moreover if our families are complete and together, because not everyone will enjoy that blessing.
Actually, many people began planning the end-of-the-year Holidays since mid-September, when stores stocked up with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations at the same time. It is as if people wanted to suck up every little second of life and make it festive.
What can only be called as a “renewed sense of Holiday Cheer”, includes not only putting up decorations, but also the spending intention and the planning for hosting in person celebrations for all the important holidays and several occasions in between.
Gift giving will also be different this year, with people investing on sharing experiences with their families and friends, instead of buying meaningless objects as gifts. For many, money is still tight, therefore they are choosing wisely, making a point of supporting small, local businesses.
If something good might have come out of all the pain and suffering of the past year and a half, is that people are now more aware to appreciate the important things in life: love, family, company, and joy. Gratitude is a quality that is cultivated with practice, and there is no better time than the holidays to do it.
Spreading the Holiday Cheer
This year communities are celebrating many events, where neighbors get together to share their joy. Parades, tree lighting, turkey drives, corporate picnics. The craving for human interaction is as big as for holiday dishes. Crowds are still borderline dangerous, given that there is still potential for contracting the virus, especially in populations with low immunization rates.
However, hope, generosity, and happiness are contagious too, and their spread only makes communities stronger to face the future. It is more than worth taking the risk, masked or not, to get together to share the enthusiasm for the Holidays.
Finding the right reasons to celebrate the Holiday Season
“Jesus is the reason for the season” is a popular saying among Christians, to emphasize the religious origin and meaning of Christmas. Faith for them is the main reason to celebrate, giving a transcendental sense to all the holiday cheer. Other faiths also have celebrations near this time of the year, like Hanukkah, the festival of lights of the Jewish, which began this year the weekend after Thanksgiving. Hindi’s Diwali took place in November. This year, there are not Muslim holidays falling in December.
Many African-Americans observe Kwanzaa, a celebration of African heritage, culture, and unity, beginning December 26th until January 1st. It is not a religious holiday, but an opportunity to learn and remember the values and traditions of those who came from Africa to this country.
Others simply celebrate the season without a reason beyond being alive, healthy, and able, which definitely are more than enough to justify spending a special time with family and friends, appreciating being in this wonderful world, full of possibilities and opportunities.
From our Doral Family Journal family to yours, may God continue blessing you with health and joy, and may we continue sharing many more opportunities of community cheer in 2022. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all our readers!