"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Avoiding the mall-rush...

You couldn't PAY me to go to the mall today!!
 We're down to two weeks until Christmas and the frenzy has hit the last minute shoppers
{I, myself could maybe considered one of them}....
As always, at this time of year, I get this little rebellious streak rising up inside of me.

 I hear people talking about all the things on their shopping lists, I see people completely stressed out over finishing all their buying and I observe a nation full of young people who feel that they are entitled to get everything on their LIST.

And every year I hate it even more. 
 I hate that I buy into it all. 
 I hate that somewhere in the back of my mind I feel obligated to join the frenzy.

When did we decide this holiday should be all about us?  
When did we decide that because it's Jesus birthday, WE should all receive presents...
and LOTS of them- 
especially the most expensive kind?

How did we go from sitting at our Thanksgiving tables, giving thanks for all the blessings bestowed upon us, to rushing out the door at midnight so we can buy more STUFF?
We were so thankful only moments before, but that all changes when a SALE is at stake.

I know, much of what we buy is for others...
and I'm not against blessing others with something they really want.
But, every year I am more and more frustrated with the way we blow it out of proportion
 and buy beyond our means to give to someone who doesn't have a need

Sounds a little Scrooge-ish, I know.  
I hear it as it's coming out of my own thoughts...
but it doesn't change the fact that I feel like, as a nation, we've allowed things to get out of control.  

I never really know what to DO about these thoughts and feelings this time of year.  I've never bought a lot for under our tree, but I still buy...I still go beyond what I should -because it's just what you do.

This year things are going to be different.  
I had thought a few weeks ago that I would share how- here.  
But I've decided not to...
mainly because it's just a personal decision.  
It's a trial...and it may only happen for this year,
but it needed to happen.

I keep thinking that what I want most of all, is for my kids to look back on their childhoods 
and on Christmas in particular and remember how we celebrated Jesus, 
and not stuff.

And I'm willing to "wager" that ten or twenty years from now they will not remember the particular trinkets that awaited them under our tree.

I stand corrected...
I DO remember something that was under our tree about 30 years ago.  
It was a really ugly polyester "pant suit"
{sorry, mom and dad!}
I remember traipsing up to my room and trying it on...
 {mumbling under my breath at how unfair it was that I should receive something so hideous.}

{THIS IS NOT ME..it's a google image, but I'm pretty sure if this kid saw me in my polyester number he would have asked me to be "his girl"}

{And SHE would have asked if I wanted to be best friends}

I can't remember if I let my attitude show..
I'd like to think that I smiled a polite smile and said "thank you"...
but I'm not naive enough to think I didn't put a great big lemon-puckered face on
and roll my eyes

The point is, my heart was wrong...
because I wanted MORE...
I wanted to feel special...
I wanted to be lavished with lovely gifts,
because I was worth it and it was what I deserved.

I wish now that I still had that little stretchy-pant number so I could at least take it to Goodwill
 for some other kid to appreciate...
because someone else WOULD have appreciated it.
If you have no food, you would certainly appreciate a plate of vegetables,
and if you had no clothes, you would certainly appreciate
a stretchy-pantsuit.

I'm trying to wrap my head around how I can make Christmas time special for my loved ones
and not get all wrapped up with the gift-buying stress.

I may have stepped on some toes with my opinions here...
didn't mean to.
They're MY opinions...
{and it's my blog, so I can share them, the 1st Amendment says so!}
It's just where I am right now.

It doesn't mean you won't run into me at the mall in the next few weeks, cause you probably will.
But it does mean I'm thinking through things differently.


Mrs.Rabe said...

You are so not Scrooge like! I am in complete agreement!

We spend more than we need to, as well, but we are cutting back every year. I want Christmas to be about Christ, and I want to give gifts, that are thoughtful and have meaning to the receiver - not "hey look, a new phone!" etc....

Jeane` said...

A hale and hearty "AMEN" has been shouted on the balcony...on all accounts!!!

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