Have you ever noticed how something gets into people as we begin thinking about the holidays? They have got to find ways to make this years holiday better than last years.
Whatever surprise gift they pulled off last year, this years has to be bigger. Whatever decorating they did last year, this years has to outdo it, causing the season to be looked upon as another stressful event that leaves us all stressed, frustrated and disappointed.
If that is the race that we are caught in, we ought to get away from that way of thinking. Instead of bigger think better and different.
With the economy in deep recession and the future year looming with extensive taxes and wage freezes, we should all step back from the commercialism of Buy, Buy, Buy and think about what is really important during this holiday season.
I for one find that music is a wonderful way to center me and my family on the real meaning of the holidays. The whole point of this season is to celebrate family, friends and food, not the pricy gift that you purchase from some merchant that went to China and ordered 50,000 of this unique one of kind article that we buy only because it stands for some monetary value or worse yet, some fashion value that is equally fleeting in popularity. Remember it is not important what we have in life, but who we have in our life.
Ever the nostalgic romantic I like to prepare foods that my mother and aunts so lovingly prepared for the family during our holiday get together, as we listen to old favorites and dance and sing around the kitchen and family room.
I love to hear Bing Crosbys inimitable baritone voice sing the Christmas carols that are today loved even by the rappers, for they have withstood the test of time. There are so many community sing along and concerts at churches during this season that all you have to do is look around and you may just find a fun activity to do with the family that will really lighten your mood and bring real meaning to home for the holidays. Leave the cell phone home, unplug the computer and look around and you may be surprised at how wonderful a spontaneous musical moment can be.
Here is one example:
Almost every classical, crossover, or contemporary singer and instrumentalist has a Holiday CD that will bring joy at a nominal expense and will endure in time by the memories that it will bring to those you share it with.
Carmen Ileana Romn writes a regular column for fredericknewspost.com.