Yes, it's that time of year again: when all of your relatives feel the sudden urge to cram into your house and force you to bake for them while they down multiple bottles of wine. No? Just me? Got it. Well, anyway, the holidays have always been my favorite time of year—mostly because my birthday falls right in the middle of the season, but you know, a little bias never hurt anyone. Still, you got to love how abnormally friendly people are while striding down the street.
You see, right after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, people get this sudden surge of happiness and peace, which I like to call the Holiday Goggles. During the festivities of the Holiday Goggles, that very same angry neighbor named Brenda who yelled at you three days ago for putting green Christmas lights on your house's trees instead of white is now hugging you like Oprah just told her you're her long lost child. Everyone is volunteering, Sleigh Ride seems to be on repeat in any place you can spend a dollar, and random strangers are saying happy holidays to each other just because they're walking by.
However, the Holiday Goggles are an interesting concept in themselves. Everywhere people are seeing the earth as this beautiful peaceful place during the season of giving, where everyone is there for each other and no crime happens anywhere and everything is innocence and joy. We all get that warm fuzzy feeling inside when we give gifts to our loved ones and donate to charity—and yet, no one seems to want to stay this way.
About a week after New Year's, the Holiday Goggles are taken off. People return to work and school and promptly return to the people they were prior to Thanksgiving. No one donates to charity, Brenda goes back to bossing you around, and people avoid eye contact as though the slightest rotation of the head will get them involved in a mugging. Why aren't the people of the world as trusting and friendly as they are during the holiday season?
We all get the warm and fuzzies around early winter and yet we feel no need to reclaim these feelings after the season they invoke passes. It bothers me that people are so willing to switch the charitable, friendly human spirit on and off whenever they feel like it. Riddle me this: What if Christmas and Thanksgiving and Hanukah and Kwanzaa weren't all about family and celebration, but were just more casual days off of work, like Labor Day or Memorial Day? Would people still be as friendly as they are to each other? Is the world only ever genuinely good when we put on our Holiday Goggles?
If so, this needs to change, like, yesterday. We can't just love one another because a certain holiday tells us to. Human decency should exist outside of the three months that people are celebrating their loved ones. Our entire existence should be built around celebrating our existence and the existence of others, because let's face it, the fact that we are alive, whether you believe it's from God or Allah or science is just so cool.
Do yourself a favor and leave the Holiday Goggles on a little while longer this year. Appreciate the fallen snow for more than just a backdrop for Christmas, be a little warmer to the people passing you on the street; heck, invite your relatives over more often for more bottles of wine. Even if it's not a holiday, treat every day like it is, Geneva. Because somewhere—not even that far from our little town—there is someone out there who treats every day like it's their hell, probably because it is hell. We are so fortunate to live in a community that inspires so much beauty in the world and yet the people here can be so cruel to one another. If we all treated each other like Christmas was right around the corner, then maybe we could be one step closer to making life a little bit more bearable.
If you have the power to make the world a better place, do it. Don't just wait until the holiday season to donate to charity or be friendly to everyone walking by; be like that all the time. The Holiday Goggles don't have to come off after New Year's. If we all put in the effort, we could—and this may be shocking to a lot of you—love each other all year round. Let yourself get caught up in the holiday season and never let go.