Something occurred to me this past Turkey Day: I’ve got unresolved beef with the holidays. I talk about the spirit of holidays often on this here website this time of year, and I try to be diligent in my language. I know I’m not the only one who holds grief, trauma, or just a general distaste for the holidays for a variety of (very legitimate) reasons. I’m not interested in fashioning a dialogue that encourages “healing your holiday jeers,” nor am I pursuant of my own bah-humbug remedy. Instead, for years, I was mostly indifferent, with sparks of enthusiasm or engagement fleeting here and there but never sticking around for long. But my last holidays have been low-key, very chill, and ultimately, kind of nice. For me, that came after I dug deep to find perspective—these days aren’t what they used to be nor are they what we expect them to be, so why not make them something else?
We have the freedom to make this time what we want it to be. Indifference was just a way to avoid that because that sort of freedom is difficult.
I think we Americans obviously have some deep-rooted issues when it comes to traditions, celebrations, and holidays. Of course Christmas is terrible, look what we did to it and look what we do to each other because of it!
Whatever the case is, whether you celebrate or not, I hope the month of December—the spirit of a new month that is also the final month of the year; the spirit of a new year; the spirit of experiencing (or missing) loved ones—brings you long-lasting pleasure and joy that aids you as you live this crazy thing called life.
And a quick ask to go along with that: Within that spirit, if you feel compelled to give, consider giving to BSR. Thank you to everyone who donated during Giving Tuesday this week. And thank you to all who give in the future.
Happy holidays, whatever that means for you.
Kyle V. Hiller
BSR associate editor