Black Friday

The Thanksgiving holiday has been getting me down. It’s depressing to see people thankful for things and not being truly thankful for anything myself.

Thanksgiving is over, though, and today starts the Christmas season. I think I can take some comfort in that. Thanksgiving requires one to reflect on the joys of their lives. I don’t have joys. It’s not like my life is terrible, but there needs to be more. What I do have could probably make someone content, but I am not satisfied with content. And I don’t expect to ever reach a point where I’m perpetually happy. However, I would appreciate having more moments in my life that truly make me feel gratitude to the universe. Christmas time, I think, may bring that out.

This will be my first Christmas season in New York City. It has to be the most ideal location for it, too. Millions of people are here, and usually these people pass through their lives withdrawn from each other. They busily rush around the city, continually goal-oriented and greed-driven. I’m not complaining about those motivations, but it does leave little time for true, touching human interactions. Christmas time gives people a kind of pause from the typical individualistic pursuit of happiness. A blanket consciousness of solidarity covers most of the country. We become more willing to consider each other, and do so more easily. For a small part of the year, the pursuit of happiness becomes a joint effort, where the happiness of others brings happiness to us.

It’s also a wonderfully materialistic time of the year. It serves as an odd bedfellow to this time of unselfish human spirit. I enjoy it, too. It gives me comfort to know that people can buy happiness. It’s an elusive emotion, difficult to understand and maybe more difficult to obtain. Yet, once a year, two completely opposite and seemingly paradoxical world views come together and create a uniform push to a single goal: happiness for all.