I wrote this post last year. I wish I could say that the holiday spirit has already caught me this year but it wouldn't be true. But here's what has. I've had to run into the mall a few times this week and I remembered that there's something in the air this time of year that bothers me. I don't think I would be so troubled by it if it didn't have the power to infect me. See, while I was hoping to run in and get the few items I needed, the mall was teeming with shoppers. People were buying up Christmas gifts with determination and it made me panic.
I never shop this early. I usually take one or two days in the middle of December and get everyone on my list checked off. But this thing in the air at malls and Walmarts across the land during this season is like a bug. It gets you even though you have practiced healthy thoughts. Even though you wash yourself with truths like Christmas is not about buying a bunch of meaningless gifts for people who don't need them. Even though you've inoculated yourself with promises that as soon as it makes sense you will teach your children about the real giving, helping the people who really need it.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not above it all. I do buy meaningless gifts for people who don't need them. I excitedly talk about Santa on a daily basis with Deaglan. I bought a new Christmas rug for the front doorway just yesterday and I'm coveting a Kindle if anyone cares.
But I do it with a sense of guilt. Like this is wrong. Some deeper sense in me knows that it should be much, much more about altruism, gratefulness and extension and way, way less about retail, Santa and stocking stuffers.
So again, this year, I'm struggling with the season. On the one hand I have a duty to get giddy and enthusiastic for my kids' sakes but on the other, I could take Christmas or leave it.
I have a bit of the spirit though and have joined the gals over here for Merry SITmas