Why are people so miserable during the Happiest Time of the Year?

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I’m ready to tackle the question we’re all wondering: why are people so miserable during the Happiest Time of the Year? If you know me you know that I try to be done Christmas shopping early and hate to even go into stores after December 1st.  With the amazing help of technology I don’t have to deal with the insanity this time of year but the question still begs to be asked.  Is it because people need to find that perfect gift?  Is it because they are spending way too much money, that in some cases they don’t have, to make their children, family, friends, happy?  Is it because the holidays while bringing the good out of people also can remind them that they are in some cases?  Obviously Christmas has become overly commercialized but people have we really forgotten the true meaning of Christmas?

Christmas isn’t about the one, five, fifteen, or fifty gifts under your tree on the big day.  It is about how you treat your fellow human every other day of the year.  And yes, while I as a parent my day has changed a bit as I would do anything to see a smile on my child’s face, I also have been trying to instill in her the idea of giving.  Now she’s not four yet so the idea still needs flushing out but my point is she understands that it is important to help when you can.  She understands that not everyone is as fortunate as she and many of her friends are.  Will this stick with her the rest of her life?  I sure as hell hope so.  My goal isn’t to raise another entitled child that walks along this earth with their earbuds in, staring at their phone, feeling that they are owed something because they breathe.  My goal is to raise a child who will start the toy drive in their school, who will ask to give up something that they have to put a smile on another child’s face and to help where she can.

So going back to my original question, why are people so miserable?  Maybe it is because we don’t take the time to look into ourselves to see what will really make us happy this time of year?  Remember you’re no good to everyone else if you’re not good with yourself.  So as we get closer to Christmas and the end of the year, take a moment and reflect.  What were some wins this year?  What would you have done differently?  Did you hug your loved ones enough?  More importantly did you tell them that you loved them?  Life can change in an instant, never leave anything unsaid.    And when you encounter those miserable people, kill them with kindness.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Merry Christmas !

Wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy days to read my blog.  I hope it has brought you some laughs through the year.

Kαλά Χριστούγεννα!!

merry-christmas

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Seriously Penelope…is there a Santa Claus?

Okay if you personally know me you know that I do my darnedest to Christmas shop throughout the year.  I have no patience for what comes out of humanity in December and mostly after the 20th of December.  The pushing, shoving, profanity spewing adults all trying to get the same parking spot, toy for their child, coffee so they can make it through the day.  Regardless of if you celebrate Christmas or not, you’re dealing with this craziness, and Canadians are the nicer people.  I am wondering if I’ve lost my American edge or I’m just getting older and realize it all doesn’t matter.

I know that tomorrow night and Thursday, I’ll have more photos than I can count on fingers, of people’s trees lined with gifts underneath.  Then photos of jubilation on the faces of family members once they open those gifts.  But really, truly, is that what we have become?  What I ask myself is when was the last time these people put the phones down and had a real moment with their families?  When did our lives have to become open books in order for us to get through the day? You might think I’m being judgmental and perhaps it is coming across that way but ladies and gentlemen, my wish for you this Christmas is to create real memories.  Put the phones down, put the video apps away and capture the smile on your children’s faces.  Ingrain that in your memory.  Take a moment to smile at the people who are around the tree with you, you never know when it might be your last Christmas together.  Leave the wrapping paper strewn on the floor and enjoy the hugs and kisses the morning gives you.  And for my friends who are spending Christmas alone this year, know that in a house in the suburbs outside of Toronto, in Canada, as I drink my morning coffee on Thursday, I’ll be thinking of you and thanking God for bringing each of you into my life.

I leave you with my RDKism:  “You never know when you might miss the actual moment because you’re too busy trying to prepare to capture a possible moment.”

xo

phone

 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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It is the most wonderful time of the year….or is it??

As I sit here and type, I have my frappe in hand, in early December.  The house is quiet as it is O’Dark Hundred as I like to call it.  The important people in my life are tucked in their beds and of course this mama has started the day.  We have a busy one today with a trip to a farm for Christmas Wonderland adventure.  A sleigh ride, some crafts and a visit with the big man dressed in red.  We went to ‘officially’ visit the big guy this past week and it was a disaster.  The tears, the screaming, yes that was my child at the mall.  Thanks to everyone behind me (yes we were first in line) who was patient with us.  My child’s behaviour, which was totally normal for a 19 month old, got me thinking.  Is this Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year??  When I think back to growing up of course it was because it meant that we would have a vacation from school, but as an adult, what does it mean?  Have we lost ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the season?

I had two hours alone on Friday to finish up a couple of gifts that I needed to get.  Yes I’m normally done by US Thanksgiving but they were gift cards and I couldn’t buy them online.  So I run into one store and there are literally 23 people ahead of me, in line on a Friday afternoon.  As I had so much time to wait and observe, I was able to see humanity at its finest.  The woman and her sister or friend who were screaming at the poor sales associate who couldn’t be older than 25 for having to wait while the manager looks into their items that they called to place on hold.  The woman behind me who obviously was trying to have a business meeting on the phone and hide the fact that the register system was calling out a new cashier available every five minutes. The husband who was hemming and hawing every few minutes of why they had to be in line and the wife who explained the gift was for HIS side of the family.  When I finally got to the cashier with my items, yes I picked up a thing or two in the line to the register, I greeted the woman.  At 2pm she looked like she had worked 12 hours that day.  I jokingly said, “Wow it is pretty busy in here, I guess no one works anymore.”  And she replied, “It is the attitudes that get you, I can understand being this miserable after 5pm but not in the middle of the day.”  That struck a cord with me.  Truly were were more miserable after a long day at work?  Were we sick of particular people or our own lives and taking it out on others?

People repeat after me:  Christmas is on December 25th.  It is on December 25th this year and every other year.  There is no reason to run around like mad people.  There is no reason to take your frustrations out on others.  Yes you had to drive around the parking lot three times to find a spot for your car.  Yes you had to wait a little longer in line to pay for your items.  But ladies and gentlemen, this is all avoidable.  Many years ago I started buying gifts throughout the year.  I try to buy items that I think people will still like six months from now.  This not only helps your bank account but also helps save your sanity.  Don’t want to budget to do that, try picking up one item a month.  That way you’re eleven items in when December arrives.

My other tip is Christmas cards.  Yes I still send paper Christmas cards.  I find it to be the one time of year that I can reach out to people that I may have lost touch with and let them know they are thought of and in my heart.  Want to get on my Christmas card list?  Send me your address! LOL My address list checking starts in August.  I make sure I update addresses and confirm any I’m not sure of.  I also cut and add to the list at that time.  By November my labels are printed and ready to go.  Right now I’m at the mercy of a photographer waiting on my daughter’s photo so they won’t go out as early as I would have liked but the majority of my work is done.

Now I could continue to write about how Christmas isn’t about the gifts and we should be a less materialistic society but there are a million and one blogs about that.  My wish for you in the coming weeks is that you are able to find some peace in all of the insanity.  That you don’t let other people (shoppers, co-workers, etc.) bring down your wonderful mood and remember that this truly is, the most wonderful time of the year!!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Preparing for Christmas

Well it is official with less than 10 days left until the big day the Christmas Season is upon us. This time is filled with family, friends, food, drink and panic in many households. Panic of how one will get through these crazy days. Spending time with family members perhaps you don’t like. Pushing through the dreaded shopping mall to buy that gift for your dear aunt. Waiting in line for hours for that one picture with St. Nick just to have your child have a meltdown as you get to the front of the line. Some people love it and some people hate it. Personally I love it!

I am very much an A type personality if you haven’t figured it out yet.  I used to like the house to be decorated just a certain way.  Everything had its place on the mantle or under the tree.  The cards were ready to go in the mail on December 1st.  I hand wrote every card and have over a hundred person Christmas card list.  Well all that went to shit when my little one came along.  The house is still decorated, just not how it used to be.  The cards are going in the mail, just a week before Christmas instead of almost a month before Christmas.  The waiting in line for St. Nick wasn’t so bad, just an hour of my life that I’ll never get back.  I was lucky the little Miss could have cared less who was holding her and truly was unimpressed by the man in red.  As she told one auntie, “I’m being good because people say he’s a big deal around here.”  I have half opened presents around my tree because we didn’t put the gates up fast enough and she ripped open a few.  Luckily they were hers or yiayia’s (who will find it endearing).

Today a friend and I will tackle the Christmas baking (Canadian/American style).  I’ll let you know how we make out next week.  With a 10 month old and an almost 8 month old in the house, it’ll either be a disaster, or the best treats you’ve ever had in your life!

As I look back it is amazing the difference from this Christmas to last, yet I wouldn’t change a thing!!

photo(1)A big shout out to my hubby for watching the little one last night so I can go to my first Paint Nite.  I admit, it isn’t great but for someone who can barely draw stick figures…I’ll take it 🙂  To find a Paint Nite near you click here.

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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