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Just to get on that list


We all have our rituals and traditions.

The festive season has seemingly taken on different meanings to different people. Picture: (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

In a world where we are actively encouraged to be easily offended, it’s as if we are impossible to amuse, as a result the festive season has seemingly taken on different meanings to different people.
 Despite still being marketed as a religious celebration Christmas, these days, tends to be more Hallmark than holy as the “I” in this “holiday” seems to be the only character receiving any attention.
Whether this past Christmas day was spent charitably, in church, child-minding or chugging beer, we all have our little rituals and traditions.
While Monday may not have been a day spent commemorating the birth of your Lord and Saviour, December 25 has become something of an all-access celebration of friends, fun, food, family and the inevitable – and all too familiar – feuding.
Safe to say, everyone does the festive season differently as our individual traits and quirks make for a personalised spin on things.
More often than not, a person’s definition and description of this hallowed day is as unique as their very DNA; similar to that of the loved ones they are surrounded by, yet still utterly distinct from any other.
This is most definitely easier said than done but the crucial thing to avoid is distraction and not letting the miniscule differences between us take any focus away from what is important about the season for giving, and humming  Boney M’s greatest hits whether we want to or not.
The festive season is about reflection, review, remorse, reconsideration, reconciling, relaxing and renewing. It is about finding ways to do, feel and be better and to improve not only your circumstances but yourself.
Indispensable weapon
Threats that Santa boycotts bad behaviour are an indispensable weapon in many a parent’s arsenal, taming tantrums, sedating screams and demolishing disobedience.
The old man’s list is like kryptonite to any kicking and screaming kid.
These tactics are frowned upon by some, while others consider them indispensable; but these differences of opinion have everything to do with ethics as their effectiveness is difficult to deny.
Our motivation to be good at this time of year can come from any one of a million sources including Chris Kringle, Krampus, constellations or Christ himself, but what motivates to make a positive impact is not as important as what we do with said motivation.
Instead of trying to ease our guilty consciousness by cramming all the generosity and kindness we can muster into those few weeks a year, maybe we could spread it out a little bit.
One way to look at it is if you commit 30 minutes a day towards being nice, not just to make it onto some “list”, you will be able to enjoy your hard-earned paid leave without a hint of a guilty conscience.
For these precious few weeks a year, you will be able to enjoy that “me time” you have longed for. Without even realising it, yours will become one of those names that is going to stand out from the rest. Nothing will need to be checked twice.
The celebrations may be drawing to a close with another year left in our wake but this doesn’t need to be where the festivities end.
If not for irrelevant and inconsequential differences in how we view and enjoy our holidays, there would be nothing stopping us from making the season for giving, jolly and enjoyable for us and our loved ones.