Haha, yeah, around here the shops start carrying Xmas stuff in, like, freakin' September (a few aisles over from the Halloween candy). That and the rampant consumerism used to bother me, but I've sort of become a cynical old bastard over the years and now I just think it's kind of sad-funny or tune it out altogether. It might help to remember that, to some degree, you can choose to participate or not, even when it seems like it's all up and blaring in your face.
Re: social media, I've never seen it as a curse, more of just a different way of communicating that can be shallow or extremely meaningful depending on how you use it (blah blah blah technology can be used for good or evil blah blah :B ). And yeah, I've heard that some people do get caught up in micro-posting every second of their lives on Facebook, or texting instead of spending face-to-face time with their relatives, but there are a lot of factors that go into that, too. Personally I find Facebook really trivial and annoying and hardly ever use it at all, except to talk to my relatives and long-distance friends when I can't see them in person. I'm kind of shy IRL, so I think social media can be great for keeping in touch and making new friends. I guess my general unofficial policy on any social website is if I'm spending more time caught up in the workings of the site itself than in interacting with people I like on it, or if it makes me grind my teeth in annoyance, then it's probably time for a "vacation" from that site or to start using it more sparingly. But everyone's experience is different, and to each their own.
But anyway, yeah, holiday junk. I do tend to feel more depressed and anxious during the holidays--partly because of all the stress vibes just floating around out there, and also because it reminds me of good and bad things from the past (my childhood and recent family dramas). I love spending time with my family, but not being forced to interact with people who'd be better off quarantined behind a Facebook screen or cut out of one's life altogether (see also: why I don't talk to my biological father anymore). The weird thing is I actually have really fond (or at least bittersweet) memories of the holidays in my childhood, when it seemed like they lasted much longer and we'd spend weeks preparing for it at home and doing crafts and stuff at school. Some of that anticipation was fun and exciting and didn't feel overexposed--it just made me look forward to the occasion more. I guess the novelty (and/or childhood naivete) wears off after a while, and the tacky blow-up lawn snowmen and BUY SOMETHIN' WILL YA plastered in red and green tinsel all over the shopping mall don't help either. :P So again, I think it goes both ways. Maybe it's a combination of over-anticipation and being too rushed to slow down and actually celebrate, so it's like peering through the shop windows at a party you're too busy to attend. There's more hype and less substance, and that can be pretty depressing.
As for me, this year I got the tree down from the attic after Thanksgiving and just got around to decorating it last weekend (my husband thinks I'm a big nerd, but all the ornaments I have are hand-me-downs from my childhood and it's kind of a nostalgic little ritual unwrapping them every year, something that brings me closer to home now that I've been spending the holidays with my in-laws). The only other thing I'm doing ahead of time is making gifts (because I'm underemployed and excessively broke, haha) and maybe cards and stuff. In general, my advice for people dealing with holiday stress is to do what's manageable, focus on what's important to you, and try to screen out the rest so it doesn't steal your joy, if possible.
That's just my gift-wrapped 2 cents, of course. :P Hope you all have great holidays no matter what you celebrate!
Last edited by stitchedmoon on Wed May 04, 2016 12:18 am; edited 1 time in total