14 November 2012

The holiday season is upon us

I know this by several ways. The days are shorter and nights darker. Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is near. All the stores have christmas crap stuff in them and christmas songs playing over the air. And I'm getting stressed and sad.

I love Halloween, but it isn't really celebrated here. Sure, in the last few years, you can find more Halloween costumes and related stuff in stores. Some daycare centers, kids clubs and schools have a day where kids get to dress up and adults go out to bars to drink. But there is no trick-or-treating and I get strange looks if I do dress up for the day. Even if it is only my devil's horns or cat ears. I miss Halloween.

And then comes Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving doesn't exist at all in Finland. And I miss turkey-day! I love the food! The getting together with family. And especially the food. But, the night before Thanksgiving, when I was 14, my grandmother (mom's side) passed away. Every year around this time of the year I think of her and everyone else who has moved on. Starting last year, that includes my own mom. I started thinking about my grandma and mom today. It made me cry.
This has nothing to do with the post, I just felt like putting a picture here.

After Thanksgiving comes christmas. Finnish christmas is different than what my family does in the US. I do like the Finnish christmas, it's just different. I especially like the food. It makes up for not having Thanksgiving.  I do love the family time and being together. I also love baking cookies and other holiday treats. I'm very thankful I have Mr Siili's parents and that we spend christmas with them. It has definitely made the holidays easier.

But christmas itself, is still the same. I'm not a religious person, so the whole meaning of christmas doesn't really do anything for me. I've struggled for years to find meaning in the holiday. Something more than people just wasting money on gifts that people don't really need and also people being greedy for gifts they get. I hate the stress of gifts! Which is why for the last few years, and most likely this year too, I've taken to baking goodies for most everyone. (I have no idea if they like them, but I haven't heard any complaints.) As I said earlier, I like baking and I figure most people will like the treats, plus after the holiday season is over they won't have more junk laying around that they don't really need.

Once again, 'tis the season for me to think of family that is no longer with us. 'Tis also the season to stress once again what to do about christmas gifts. I know I'll feel better once I get a bit of sleep.
Until then: Bah, humbug!