It’s that time of year where the whole country is rushing around, making plans to spend the holidays in a traditional fashion with their blood relations. Not me. For the past several years, I’ve chosen to break that cycle. Not because I have anything wrong with spending time off with family. It’s because I want the holiday to be voluntary, something people do only if that’s what they really, truly want to do.
Think for a moment about how most people conduct their holidays. There’s an event set in stone from the very beginning of the year. Depending on your level of participation, you have to, at a minimum, show up and be cordial, all the way up to planning, executing, and financing a perfectionist feast while performing the role of chief diplomat at an intimate gathering of mortal enemies. For some very few of us, everything works out perfectly: you all live close by, get along, have the same schedule, food tastes, interests, and genuinely like and get along with each other. The holiday itself doesn’t matter, since you would be doing the exact same thing anyway, even without a festive excuse. [Read more…]