One Mages Opinion On Owning Your Holidays
Every year, I come across a lot of people with what I call “Holiday Derangement Syndrome”. Basically, they have let the madness that can be an unfortunate part of this season warp both their perspectives, and their priorities. They become obsessed with getting things, having stuff, and meeting goals that are all to often unobtainable. And because of this self-created stress, they go around being rude and horrible to everyone in their path. Now to be quite honest, I think such behavior in general is just abhorrent and wrong. But in Pagans? Especially those of us who practice Magick? It is inexcusable. You may be scratching your head wondering why I
would single out Magick using Pagans. Well the answer is simple. If we routinely alter and in some cases even construct our own realities, then why are we not doing the same with our holidays?
It’s really very simple. The first thing is to decide what kind of holiday you want to have. Not so much the details, but the tone. Decide what is important to you. What your priorities are. If you want to have a simple no fuss holiday with just close friends and the family members you are most connected to, then decide that. If you want to go all out and have some lavish affair, then decide that. If you want to make this decision with your partner or family you can, or if you only wish to decide for yourself you can do that too. But the important thing is to decide.
The second part and admittedly the hardest to take a long, hard, as objective as possible, look at the activities you normally engage in, and the people you normally associate with during the holidays, through the lense of that earlier decision and alter accordingly. If you have decided that you want a low-key holiday, then adjust your gift giving habits if needs be. Make more things and buy less, or buy little things instead of bankrupting yourself. If you want only to be around people who you really care about, then this year don’t invite your Uncle Fred and Aunt Edna, who you only see once a year, you don’t like, and who spend most of the time criticizing everyone else. On the other hand if you want to go all out, then plan for that, save some extra money, get some extra time off of work. Nothing should be a barrier to creating the holiday that you truly want. Not even time. If for one reason or another the best day for everyone you truly care about to get together is say December 27th, then have your holiday then.
Next, comes something even harder. Accept responsibility for the holiday you have made. If you see that someone has given your best friend the “Neatest Coolest Thing Ever” (TM) and your gift is a handmade tea cozy, don’t think twice. Your gift is in line with the holiday you want to have, and the other persons gift is (hopefully) in line with the holiday they want to have. And if Uncle Fred and Aunt Edna call up, their feelings hurt because they didn’t get an invitation to your house for Christmas, explain that they hadn’t seemed in the past like they were having any fun and you had worried that they were only coming because they felt obligated.
Finally, something even harder still, accepting that no matter how much you plan, and how careful you are to try to keep your holiday plans in line with your intentions, there will be things that happen that you just didn’t foresee. Accept that stuff happens. Simply keep your focus on the kind of holiday you want to have, and let that be your guide in deciding how to handle any unforeseen eventualities.
Because in the end? When all is said and done? What you ate. What you gave. What you got. None of these things are going to matter one onehundredth as much as the memory of spending time with people you care about and getting to enjoy their company without being stressed to the point of overload. Of course that’s just one Mage’s opinion.