Don't get me wrong, I really do like the holidays. I took several years off from liking them a while ago, but having gotten away with spending them in a just-as-I-please fashion for several years, I feel a bit more ready to participate in a more traditional manner (i.e. with family and too much to eat). But there's still a certain amount of emotional prep needed. I think what I've learned from life in how to best enjoy the holidays is that you have to intentionally seek out the bits you really like, and make sure those happen (don't just hope that someone else will make them happen for you), and the bits you really hate you have to either intentionally avoid, or have a strategy for survival in place if they cannot be avoided (my personal set of strategies involves making sure there is ample recovery time afterward, preferably with binge television watching, and a whole lot of post-process journaling). But just because commercials have been shoving an image of good cheer down our throats for weeks already now, doesn't mean we have to be victims to the holidays. This year, let's not become innocent roadkill on the highway to 2013.
There are a lot of steps you can take to be intentional about how you want to live through the holidays this year. You can decide you're only going to support small businesses with the gifts you buy. You can decide you'll avoid desserts entirely this year, thus not having to again lose those four pounds in January. You can decide that you don't need to have both turkey and ham served if it means you get a few more hours of your life back, and that life is more important than making sure everyone's expectations are met. Whatever you decide, it just has to be specific to your very particular hopes and needs.
I'm so thankful for so many things in my life right now. I haven't been as happy as I've been this year since I was seven years old. It makes me want to make sure other people are happy too. I really do genuinely hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, but because one of my personal pet peeves about the holidays are the emotional expectations (everything must be perfect, including your ability to feel like a Hallmark card inside!), I'm just going to say: Thank you for reading, it means a lot to me.