Stuff! Hurry! Buy more stuff!
Pause . Take a deep breath. Don't forget to buy what's most important! "What IS most important?" you ask.
Can you name the gift you gave or received five years ago? two years ago? last year? Black Friday. Cyber Monday. And so it begins. Let's briefly hit the MUTE button on all the advertising and clamoring. In recent years, my wife has spent both time and money (using a professional organizer) to eliminate 'stuff' from our home and lives. What do we want that we don't already have? Nothing .. not one thing.
In lieu of exchanging gifts this year our children welcomed the idea to support a local charitable organization. Instead of shopping, wrapping and exchanging gifts we will spend time together as a family visiting local spots, such as the Plaza and Union Station. To top off the holiday festivities we look forward to a night of cookie decorating (and eating.)
What is your favorite Christmas memory? That awesome pair of socks -- NOT. Another terrific tie -- which one? For me, it is the first Christmas with my wife at her childhood farm.
If you read the Thanksgiving blog post, you are familiar with the "over the meadow and through the woods to grandmother's house we go" Norman Rockwell picturesque setting. In 1983, we made plans to travel to Illinois for our first Christmas together as a married couple. Our car at the time was a rust bucket and warnings of snowmageddon were predicted the day of departure. Quick decisions. Got off work early. Rented a car. Hit the road for the 6 hour drive. Good call!! The rental car had front wheel drive which came in handy when we drove into a monstrous snow drift, turning the corner for the last mile to "Mom and Dad's."
We found out the next day we were snowed in -- FOR DAYS! Actually, we would have been snowed OUT had we been delayed just 30 minutes. Nothing to do but enjoy one another, look at the beautiful white snowdrifts and eat all the goodies in the fridge and freezer. Like hibernating bears we ate ourselves into a food coma. Yes, Christmas 1983 was merry and white.
My point is this, before you pull out and swipe the card think for a few moments. Are you creating a memory or feeding the "GottaHaveIt" creature within?
Forget the number of shopping days left. Put the Merry back into Christmas.