Friday, November 16, 2012

The Holidays are On Their Way...

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? And Hanukkah starts soon after that... and then, before you know it...Christmas.

I've been working with Christmas and Holiday themed articles and stories for the last two months as we put together the Holiday issue of CapeWomenOnline magazine. We should be launching the magazine online this weekend (if there are no major snafus) but I've been thinking about the nature of this issue. It doesn't seem as "jolly" as previous years, or as glittery and over-the-top as the word "Holiday" seems to demand. Nor does it seem to me that people are withdrawing to curl up next to the fireplace and only focus on their own close-knit family. The feeling in the air is different this year.

And I don't think it's just me.

Maybe I'm just being the eternal optimist, but it seems like people are reaching out more. The actual "Spirit of Christmas" is alive and well, even if it isn't dusted with quite as much glitter and shiny toys.

Yes, the economy is still struggling, but people are refocusing on buying smaller and buying local to keep their local shops alive. Not a day has gone by in the last month that I haven't gotten a Facebook notice about another fundraiser for a good cause, or another collection for the victims of Hurricane Sandy who lost it all in the storm. People are looking outward, to help others in need,

Small things and simple acts are taking on more importance. The spirit of giving and volunteering seems  popular again - and even "cool" among students.

As I struggle to wrap my mind around holiday shopping, it occurs to me that my kids aren't asking for much this year. Maybe that's normal as they turn into teens and young adults, that they realize they don't need every shiny toy advertised on television. They are happy with what they have, and are more focused on what to give others.

How about you - have you noticed a downward shift in the "holiday frenzy," or am I just being optimistic?