The Christmas shopping rush has officially arrived. Now we have 23 more days of power shopping until we get to the other side of the holiday and after-Christmas sales. Things can get hectic this time of year. It seems that some folks’ manners and ability to engage in polite discourse take a back seat to the shopping mission. In addition, even the most gracious among us find their patience thinning and their holiday goodwill evaporating. All this adds up and before you know it holiday cheer turns into holiday jeers.
I do not like this about Christmas. It makes me want to steer clear of stores in December. I do not like to fight for parking spaces, carts, and the last special something I think someone on my list must have. That type of behavior seems off-color when I think about what the season should be about.
I think Christmas has become too commercialized and too big of a retail holiday. Every year I dread the whole enterprise of Christmas shopping a little bit more. Every year the gifts I give seem less of a thrill to give. Every year I think there must be a better way – a better plan for this holiday that would mean more to me and my family.
Alas, after every Christmas I roll into January and start daydreaming about spring and the notion of having a different kind of Christmas just fades into the loosely knit fabric of my grey matter. And then I end up here again – on the other side of Thanksgiving wondering why I continue this dance that I no longer enjoy year after year. It is as pathetically predictable.
I want to do better. I want to find a way to get to the essence of Christmas without all the trappings. I want to take back the pureness and magic of the holiday. Can that be done?
Perhaps I need to be a kid again. When you are a kid, the holiday looks different. It is filled with promise and anticipation. It is about food, fun, family, and favorite toys.
Seeing as I cannot go back 50 years, I will reflect this Christmas about what I can do differently moving forward. I will strive to not arrive in December next year with the same regrets about having changed nothing. And to ensure that whatever cheer I have remaining sticks around until the 25th I will steer clear of the shopping mobs. That is probably the most valuable gift I can give anyone and a good first step in the right direction.
Day one thousand two hundred and forty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da