I say it every year: I'm going to keep our holidays old fashioned and meaningful. I'm going to teach the children to be thankful for what we have and understand that the true gifts are each other, having a roof over our heads and living in a free country.
Then the commercials start.
The kids want this and the kids want that. And my email inbox is bursting at the seams with advertisements for sales at every store and online retailer site. Funny, instead of one Black Friday, they are now advertising things like "Black Friday III" and "Cyber Tuesday" sales! And I'll admit--it's not just the kids that gets caught up in all of this craziness! I go into the season on a budget with a plan but before I know it, I'm completely stressed out, I haven't bought enough, it's not equal between the kids' presents, and oh no, I have to buy that (fill in the blank) because it's the best price I've ever seen it advertised for (even though I never wanted it in the first place!) I get SO stressed out and the depression creeps in and some days, I don't even feel like getting out of bed.
Every other day, I try to start over and calm down. I take the kids to school and come back home, clean up the house and brew some coffee, turn on the twinkling Christmas lights and pop in my favorite holiday CD: Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong. I work on handmade Christmas crafts and place old wooden sleds outside the back door dressed up with happy red bows, and I think, "Yes...that's it...I feel it...the old fashioned, homespun Christmastime like the old days."
And then the phone rings and the mailman drops off five more catalogs of toys and gadgets and I check my email and what do you know, Kohl's is offering a million dollars back in Kohl's cash for every billion dollars I spend at their store.
I can't shut it out, no matter how hard I try. It is what it is. It's the environment in which we live. But I will savor moments, here and here...glimpses of yesteryear. Like when little Jillian sang old fashioned Christmas Carols in the church children's program....and when I pulled out all the little preschool ornaments the kids have made for me when they were tiny and so proud of their work...And when I watch Charlie Brown Christmas on TV for the 1000th time.
So, here's hoping that you found some special, old fashioned Christmastime moments to savor this past week. And here's hope that you'll find a peaceful moment or two in the coming days...Stop and listen to Bing Crosby and go listen to a cantata at church...eat some fruitcake.
Ok, maybe not fruitcake. ;-)