There Is a Middle Ground to Celebrating the Holidays

Tis the season to be merry; or flipped out; or hugely annoyed. Or ’tis the season to be simply working like heck on achieving that “Zen approach” to holiday bliss that usually alludes us. Let’s agree to ignore the discussions and musings about the standards that have slipped away. No, you will not get thank you notes. Yes, you will get email greetings, and too many photos of gorgeous children. And yes, some people will be stupid and cheap.

Back to Zen work – breathe deeply and then say out loud: “om shanti”.

holiday blog shopping yoga

What makes a woman fabulous at the holidays?

Yes, looking good — a new slinky dress or a pair of ‘holiday wow’ shoes can’t hurt. Please skip anything that is a sweatshirt and has decorations on it. I had one with reindeer – it is resting in peace. And new candles and self-pampering treats never hurt.

But, while self-love is a golden rule of ‘fabulous’, this really is the time of year to focus on others. Fabulous at the holidays means using all that over-60 knowledge to be part of the happiness of the season – no matter what is going on in your own life. Don’t be a doormat (never fabulous) but don’t buy into the “no one cares anyway” dark approach either. Over-60 women have hurt ourselves by acting through many things — but at the holidays, a little (or a lot) of acting may be just the right thing.

The danger for over-60 fabulous women is to give into one or the other extreme styles that seem to be trending. One of those extremes I will call the “had it up to here and not going to do anything style”. These women dump holidays by the side of the road completely and make it clear they don’t approve of all the “waste” or “overindulgence”. They decide making themselves happy is what is most important. Being selfish, letting yourself completely off the hook, or being cheap is never fabulous. At the holidays it is obnoxious.

greed

The other extreme are those over-60s traditionalists that can’t think of having any holiday celebration that is not filled to the brim with all that was, or all that has to be. This being the case even if half the family doesn’t care or is bored silly. Let’s call these women the “holier than thou holiday scolds”. These women disapprove of any celebrations not focused on their own religious beliefs or narrowly defined explanation of how to have a “true” Hanukkah or a “true” Christmas or true Solstice celebration. For this style there is no “season” but rather a narrow view of what makes for proper celebrations — and they are going to a place of worship, a bar, or nowhere but their kitchen where everyone agrees with them.

 

The holidays, with all its drawbacks (overdone, sad for many, over-commercialized, too much food and drink, and just an excuse to shop till we drop) are a time when everyone who matters should rise to the top of our lists, and everyone that doesn’t can wait till 2014.

We should use some of those old 60s tunes to get us in the mood — the Chipmunk Song anyone?

Additional photo credits here, here and here.