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Christmas Shopping in Perspective

Some children looking at a selection of Christ...
Some children looking at a selection of Christmas Cards during the 1910 holiday season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I proudly posted that I had finished all of my Christmas shopping on my Facebook page, I was surprised at the response.

Expectation is a funny beast. I expected folks to say things like, “Wow, that’s great.”, or “Now you can just relax and enjoy the season.”

But oh no. Expectation once again reared its ugly head and bit my ego in the buns.

Instead, their (you know, the universal ‘they‘) feedback was all up in my delightfully sweet and innocent face, “You should focus on the REAL meaning of the season.”, and other such very religiously correct poo-ha.

The reason that I have finished my Christmas shopping my darlings, is precisely for those reasons. But did they  assume the best? Oh no they did not.

It was as if  they thought  I have some hidden bunker of materialistic dazzling gifts and  that I drip showy gifts every where that’s blessed with my presence as I hover just an inch or so off of the mundane ground.

Sorry to disappoint you all, but I buy very few gifts, and the gifts that I do buy, I buy because I see Christmas as an opportunity.

It’s an opportunity to slow down and it’s an opportunity to express gratitude to the people who make life wonderful every day of the year.

It is a time to remember joy, hope, generosity, love and peace. I’ve heard multitudes of people sneer and say that if people can’t be like that all year, don’t be a hypocrite and celebrate Christmas. I disagree. Yes, it’s the least we can do to stop and extend charity to those less fortunate during this season, but it’s better than the alternative; an entire society void of any sense of community, charity and affinity with one another.

It’s the ONLY time of year that people take time to reconnect. I spend far more time and money on food and entertaining than I do on actual gifts. Presence is presents. I have turfed many a man because he couldn’t be bothered to be around for the holidays. Pish-posh – no woman should put up with that.

Give me an hour or two of quality time throughout the season, and I’m thrilled, delighted, and yes, it makes me feel special; friend, lover, colleague or family.

So, I do have my holiday shopping complete. I finish it up early in November so that I can focus on spending time with  and welcoming my friends into my home for the holidays.

My idea of Christmas is not dueling on the highways to merge into mall parking lots attended by security and police. It is not getting elbowed by greedy ‘princesses’ who just have to have the latest bag, shoe or trinket and feel entitled to better service, better prices and better selection than everyone else.

From now until the new year, I will be holed up in my little abode, cooking and baking in my kitchen. Having tea by the fireplace with my girlfriends, and perhaps a snog or two under the mistletoe.

Don’t let the pressure of the biggest advertising season of the year get you down. The people who really care are the ones who are just happy to spend some time with you. And let’s face it darlings, those are the only people who really matter.

 

 

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What if Christmas Was Every Day?

christmas church“There will be no peace in the world until it’s Christmas every day.”

That’s what someone’s Facebook post said today, and it got me thinking. My wee little gal brain whirred and came to a sudden halt.

What a crock of ….”. No. Wait. Not. So. Fast.

It isn’t a crock of diddly poo at all. After all, I’m the duchess of , ” Oh, isn’t it wonderful that it’s Christmas time. I must cook and entertain and spread holiday cheer like Tinkerbell spreading pixie dust.”

Oddly enough, I am also the duchess of driving, queen of the shabby salute, and assigning the label of ‘flipping jackass’ to any driver who forgets to signal, or hesitates more than two seconds at an advanced green.

Not during the week before Christmas, and the days between Christmas and the new year. I smile and laugh more. Not the maniacal laughter of a woman on the edge, but deep laughter. My smiles are more contented and last longer. I let people merge into traffic two at a time, and step in front of me at the checkout without telling them how it is.

When I surround myself with smiles and laughter, I smile and laugh more, which magically removes the jackass element of those around me.

Why? Because you see my darlings, Christmas is the one time of the year that my friends and I are in sync with our friendship priorities. We make time, spend time, and reminisce.  We smile. We laugh. Sometimes we even shed a tear or two, but in all of this, we feel less isolated, and more human.

This Christmas I’ve had many a peck under the mistletoe on my ruby cheeks from friends who have come to visit. Our visits have reaffirmed the knowledge that I already have. The pendulum of life swings, back and forth, from hard  times to good times for everyone. We all have joys, and sorrows. We all have wishes and fears.  Sharing them with one another makes it all more bearable, wherever that pendulum is. Spending time together  reminds us to be compassionate, and to love one another gently.

If this year is one of transition for you and you are feeling lost without tradition, remember that you are not alone. Behind tidy front doors, and proper smiles, we all know what it’s like to feel lonely, to feel lost, and to need the company of others, more so during the holidays than at any other time.  We need you as much as you need us.

So, if Christmas did live in our hearts every day, it may just make peace root in our own hearts, and grow, out, and into the world we share with one another.

Wishing you peace and wisdom at Christmas time and always.