As we enter yet another holiday season of ghosties and ghoulies, turkey feasts with all those fixings, and the birth of Jesus Christ along with Santa’s arrival as well, I made the difficult choice this year to do something I haven’t done in over eight years, and that’s to not decorate at all during any of it.
For those who know me, I tend to go all out during the holidays in the way of decorating. If you were to drive down the street I live on during the month of October in prior years for example, you’d always see my entire front yard lit up with festive Halloween decorations. The same has been true mid-November through the beginning of January with tons of brightly lit Christmas decorations. All in all, between set-up and take down and making sure things stay lit and functional, the time and energy it encompasses has always been a huge undertaking in my life.
This is precisely why I’ve decided to take a break this year. To put it simply, I’m worn out. Between my ongoing health issues, this pandemic, and struggles in my relationship, I decided it was more important to take care of myself this year and reduce my stress level by refraining from holiday decorating. The last few years especially, holiday decorating has brought me an incredible amount of stress. Decorating for Christmas alone for example takes me at least two weeks of time for set-up and an entire day for takedown. There’s also the constant monitoring of it when it’s lit since things always seem to burn out. Sometimes there’s even been vandalism I’ve had to deal with causing me even greater stress.
This isn’t any sort of “Bah Humbug” syndrome, as I do plan on still honoring the holidays in different ways this year as compared to years past. I simply feel it’s important for me to take this year off from doing a task in the hopes it will not only give me a reduction in holiday stress, but also to bring forth a motivation to do it again in the future.
For as much as I do have sadness that all my lights and figurines and cheerful holiday adornments will remain in storage and dark this year, I feel it’s something I need to do to take care of myself, as I truly am struggling in my life right now just to keep going. Holiday decorating isn’t a necessity but taking care of my health is.
While I plan on appreciating other homes this year who do decorate this holiday season, hopefully, taking this year off from doing any of my own decorating will allow for a far more stress-free holiday season than what I’ve experienced in years past and maybe even experiencing a peace I haven’t been able to achieve in holidays past.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson