“We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.”
― Bill Bryson
I have been away for a bit, experiencing perhaps a mild case of blogger’s flu. I have been rather neglectful and I have been spending more time in what has been described by some as the “real world”. The holidays approach like a glittery freight train. I am standing on the tracks with empty shopping bags.
“What do you mean you haven’t started Christmas shopping you foolish woman?”
Santa scolds in a mocking voice before it runs me over…
I am standing in what would be described as your typical American Mall during the holiday rush. Two days to go in fact! The place is abuzz with the collective energy of hundreds of shoppers and various others who for various reasons of their own have decided to visit this shiny tribute to consumerism on this gloriously cold and frosty day in late December.
I relish the excitement and I enjoy the people who also enjoy this type of activity. We are a motivated lot; we of the last-minute. Our ranks include all walks of life, who for some reason, whether by uncontrollable circumstance, ingrained strains of procrastination or perhaps just by design have seen fit to shop during these last days before “The Big Day”.
I try not to get hung up in all the stress and the drama of the season. As we file past the endless streams of people I can hear snippets of conversation, much of it is stress-filled and contains the phrase; two days left.
A lot of expectations are put onto this holiday and it is an emotional and very stressful time of the year. I try to have a good time wherever I go and not to let things get to me. This is easier said than done and it has taken me many years to cultivate this attitude. I remind myself that December 25th is just a day and will pass soon enough, what really matters is the everyday. Today, December 23rd is important as well. It is important to me that I am able to be out here with my beautiful daughter wandering around in all this mayhem, talking, laughing, eating surprisingly good Japanese food and having a wonderful time of it.
All in all, December 25th shows up regardless of whether we are ready for it or not…somehow every year it all works out. Nothing is ever perfect. This day is no exception and in no way should it be.
We should NOT get everything we want.
We are bombarded with messages at this time of year. Images of glittery perfection. The silver Lexus in the driveway with the giant red bow. The beautiful and well-behaved children delighting in getting everything they want. The savvy shopanista hunting down one-of-a-kind bargains, playing the perfect hostenista, finding it all and having it all…
I think the holiday season affects us more than all the others combined and I think we inject needless stress into it. Society and the media set impossibly high expectations that no real person can attain. No matter how hard we try we cannot have “the perfect holiday” because it does not exist.
No moment should be perfect. I mean, where do we go from perfect?
Do it now
Many say this day has become too commercialized. This is a understatement.
Many say we have forgotten the true meaning of the day…this too is an understatement.
I don’t really care if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holidays. I am just glad to be acknowledged in such a positive manner. Whatever you call the day, however you want to celebrate it matters not to me. If anything can be gleaned or gained from all this ado, it is the perfect excuse to get together with those we love. Hopefully to break bread and to partake of each others company. This day is a day for peace, love, understanding, tolerance and compassion. It is not a day to tell anyone how to think or feel or how to celebrate. This I believe.
And I am grateful for what I have, for my friends and family. I am grateful to be able to live in one of the greatest countries in the world. I am grateful to have my health and the free will to follow my dreams.
OUR LOVELY HOME
We all live together on this amazing planet, it is our home. To embrace each other is the true meaning of this day. We are all brothers and sisters, today, and everyday. We all sit together…and there is room at the table for us all; Jesus, Santa, you and I and Seven Billion others.
If I could receive any gift this holiday it would be for us all, every single one of us to realize that
We belong to each other.
Thank you my friends for showing up and reading what I write and leaving such intelligent and thoughtful comments. I’d be all alone out here if it wasn’t for you. My very best wishes to you and yours.
Happy Christmas from me to YOU!
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus Written by Francis P. Church in 1897 (http://www.cs.cmu.edu)
The Perfect Christmas Gift (Romance, Inspirational) (mythologystories.wordpress.com)
Interview with Santa Clause (writazondastorm.wordpress.com)
Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Strategies for Procrastinators (abcnews.go.com)
Christmas Cheer/Stress (hudds53.wordpress.com)