As soon as December rolls around, cities and towns are covered in those familiar sights and scents of your childhood. These symbols often lead to feelings of nostalgia, which makes people more optimistic about the future. But how are you feeling this year? Are you strong enough to remain positive and think good thoughts?
Next to the sense stimulating factors, gifts are also a driver of this season. And while this is mostly a commercial objective, the idea behind it seems to have stuck. In fact, many people are happier spending money and gifts for others rather than spending that money on themselves. We love to give back and the need to return the favor when someone does something for you. This powerful principle of human behavior is a significant driver of holiday giving – and perhaps stress. But, luckily, once reciprocity is fulfilled, overall satisfaction increases and the effects of generosity surface.
The holiday season also offers an opportunity to escape from the reality of work or school. That is if you allow yourself to turn off for a few days. Yes, I know, we are mostly at home this year, but December is still magical an full of lights, a very special month that talks about privacy, being silent, finding yourself into memories, being introverted an less concentrate into the world. Is this bad? Not at all. The holiday season is a special time of the year that brings out different sides to us all. And it’s just these changes in the way we act that are fun to reflect on and dissect to find those unique quirks of human behavior.
Maybe the holiday season has its own specific, intrinsic, unalterable meaning. It only has the meaning that we give to it. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince, said,
The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.
There is a therapeutic side to the fact that Christmas is forced upon us every year. People have to have conversations with each other and even though that can be very challenging and difficult they can also be very constructive. In this period we are searching and finding again relatives, parents, daughters, sons and partners. We are focusing on love and trying to stay positive. Family is here to support us, as a very safe port, with sunny weather.
Christmas will be different this year – but it’s important to celebrate together. We create and continue the stories of our families, communities and nations by sharing and passing on group culture through shared narratives, treasured belongings, rituals, and traditions.
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