Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I sometimes have to wonder what has happened to this holiday. I am sitting here on a November weeknight, it is getting late and I should be in bed. Instead, here I sit writing this post because, once again, I am dreading the approach of the holiday.

It isn't like that all the time and I remember when it was the best time of  the year. So much fun, so much food, and yes, so many toys. Now, I sometimes think, so much running around, so many people, SO much food and of course, so much money to be spent.

It is not my intention at all to sound like a Scrooge but I have to say, do we really know what the whole thing is about any more? We spend so much time and money running around trying to guess what someone might like or who would want what to eat. And then there is the malls!! Sometimes I can't believe what a madhouse they can be.

People are scurrying off in one direction or another with their heads down just trying to make it through the crowds and get back home. Young children are stressed and anxious because of all the hustle and bustle around them and they react to the stress their parents are showing. The whole thing seems to be building to some kind of catastrophic crescendo of Christmas craziness.

Then, after all that, you may find yourself scurrying along with the rest of the crowd, head down, lost in your own purpose, just trying to getting done and out of  there, when you accidentally bump into a stranger. With a bit of a shock you look up and say, excuse me, to be greeted by a smiling face. This smiling face replies, "Of course, no problem at all and Merry Christmas." For a moment you pause. What are you supposed to say to that??

Those people are out there. Someone who still remembers what it is all about. They are still out there with the rest of us. Running around trying to finish things up for the holidays, but they have this different, almost aura about them. They are moving just as quickly as you and I are, but they have a smile!

I think that sometimes we don't see too many of these people because they do have it figured out. They know that the holidays are meant to be about people and families,  including the extended ones. The gifts they have bought may be simple, such as a small book of poems or a short story or even a hand-made card with a message from the heart inside of it for someone very special.

Doesn't it sound a bit ironic? A simple hand-made card. How could this be for someone special? But it is. It something that someone has put real thought and love into. Something personal that truly says, I am thinking about you.

This is not a concept that would go over with too many children these days. We are just as guilty as the commercial world is in preparing them to expect to have money spent on them for the latest and greatest game, or doll, or toy. We have jumped in with both feet and welcomed the mall Santa Claus, with the teenager dressed as an elf standing beside Santa looking bored and embarrassed, hoping none of their friends see them in green tights. So maybe we deserve what we get when it comes to Christmas.

Maybe not this year and maybe not even next year, but think about that simple Christmas when you get together with friends and family and enjoy their company. Share strories of the good old days and maybe exchange a couple of hand-made cards.

As for me, I keep suggesting that we grab a flight to a warm and sunny place called Cane Garden Bay where we could dangle our toes in the surf and sip on the world's best margarita, watch the fishing boats head out and just leave the rest behind. Of course my daughter quickly pipes up and says I'M IN!!

So maybe as a start, the next time someone bumps into you in the mall with that blank look on their face that says get me out of here, smile and wish them a merry Christmas. Believe me, it will make you feel just as good. Who knows, it could catch on.

Merry Christmas!

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