Fleet­ing hap­pi­ness

Stabroek News - - THE SCENE -

Christ­mas is my favourite hol­i­day but it is also one of the more emo­tion­ally awk­ward hol­i­days. It makes you re­flect on life and tugs at your heart strings. It places im­mense pres­sure on ide­al­is­tic fam­ily time, gift giv­ing and cap­i­tal­ist mer­ri­ment.

Like wed­dings, Christ­mas has long turned into a money-mak­ing mon­ster. The big­ger, the bet­ter, the more lav­ish the gifts, the mer­rier or per­haps I should say tem­po­rary mer­ri­ment. There is al­ready im­mense pres­sure to con­sume and this ready-made recipe that is sug­ges­tive of what you should do to feel happy and ‘get into the spirit’ of things doesn’t make it any eas­ier. Even those who know their ef­forts will only guar­an­tee a fleet­ing five sec­onds of hap­pi­ness, still some­how feel the need to join the cha­rade.

This will be my first Christ­mas in my own home, one that I will al­ways be eter­nally grate­ful for, but there is still a nudg­ing feel­ing, that I need to con­sume to be happy. This sea­son puts pres­sure on you to some­how feel in­com­plete with­out the per­fect tree, the per­fect dé­cor and the best pep­per­pot. Just the thought makes me feel like I’m run­ning a marathon I haven’t been trained for.

I have been think­ing a lot about cap­i­tal­ism these days and the ways it is pushed on us in the dif­fer­ent forms of me­dia. Be­cause of me­dia, brands have be­come more com­fort­able pro­duc­ing up­grades and new col­lec­tions. They try their best to cap­i­tal­ize on that brief mo­ment of hap­pi­ness that takes place. The rush and the mo­men­tum is all we ever speak about but no one ever re­flects on the empti­ness we feel if we are not gen­uinely happy.

But what is hap­pi­ness any­way? Is it a pur­chasable thing or is it con­stant nav­i­ga­tion of in­ner self- ful­fill­ment? Many will ar­gue it is the lat­ter and some a mix of the two.

As we pre­pare to cel­e­brate this overly cap­i­tal­ist Chris­tian hol­i­day let us try our best to re­flect on our pur­chases and not over­run them with trend­ing themes/gim­micks.

Christ­mas has be­come such a heav­ily mar­keted item that it start­ing to over­ride tra­di­tion and the au­then­tic hap­pi­ness it brings.

Go lo­cal - This week I read out my Christ­mas menu, one that I have care­fully man­aged to cu­rate from Jaime Oliver’s web­site. My hus­band sweetly asked me if there was go­ing to be any stuffed eggs. Re­ally af­ter Guin­ness Lamb Chops? Food is food and we should be thank­ful enough that we have it. Make your cel­e­bra­tory meals but don’t bur­den your­self to im­press. Be­sides no one should be in the kitchen for ex­tended pe­ri­ods on Christ­mas day. It may be the dig­i­tal age but it some­how feels even more dif­fi­cult to find the cor­rect words to ex­press your feel­ings. Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief hand­writ­ten cards carry more mean­ing than you could ever imag­ine. Maybe be­cause the con­cept seems so vin­tage. Try to give the gift of words. They do more than you can imag­ine and are a must in my home.

In Europe Christ­mas mar­kets are in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar, I suppose you can call them the equiv­a­lent to a jam-packed Re­gent Street with ven­dors ev­ery­where on Christ­mas Eve. Cap­i­tal­ism has taught us to be ra­bid con­sumers and it has also made us into greedy be­ings who price com­pare with­out con­sid­er­ing that some busi­nesses can only of­fer lower prices be­cause they im­pinge on the val­ues and rights of oth­ers. Buy­ing from smaller shops and smaller ven­dors may be ex­pen­sive but it is more or­ganic. Think about it as do­ing two good deeds.

As we em­bark on the sea­son, let us try not to lose our­selves for fleet­ing hap­pi­ness. (in­sta­gram. com/ theon­linerun­way)

Ev­ery fowl feed pon he own craw. Is Alexis mak­ing a wise de­ci­sion? Can she deal with the con­se­quences?

Si­mon gives Malachi an ul­ti­ma­tum about his re­la­tion­ship with Alexis.

Aunty Myr­tle takes mat­ters into her hands and takes ac­tion against Si­mon and Malachi. Den­zil coun­sels his sis­ter. Will they suc­ceed?

Si­mon wants to be in­volved in Com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and sug­gests an area of in­ter­est to Sonny, the new Coun­cil Chair­man. Will he ac­cept this pro­posal?

Coretta tries to con­vince Myr­tle to ac­cept Si­mon’s of­fer of $5m. Will Myr­tle change her mind? Why is Alexis squeal­ing with joy while Catalina is in tears?

Don’t miss this week’s episode !!!! You can also lis­ten on www.merun­doi.org FOR COUN­SELLING ON MENTAL HEALTH IS­SUES IN­CLUD­ING SUI­CIDE CALL: 231-2588, 623-4444, 6007896, 223-0818,

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‘THE HELPLINE” Broad­cast Times Sun. Dec. 2- 12.30hs CNS TV Ch. 6 Sun. Dec. 9- 21.00hs TVG Ch. 28

“It was a priv­i­lege to wit­ness the com­bined cre­ative power dis­played at all lev­els while the film ad­dressed un­flinch­ingly some of the ills which plague our so­ci­ety .... I hope ‘The Helpline’ re­ceives the widest na­tional, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional cov­er­age”. -First Lady San­dra Granger

Get all you need for your Christ­mas cook­ing at the Bourda Mar­ket. (Stabroek News file photo)

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