Now shopping in itself isn't a bad thing but I maintain that one must not over extend oneself too much. People, generally speaking, run on the old 'keeping up with the Joneses' method. That is not a good thing. The average household can put themselves in credit card hell this way. Whatever happened to the old adage, 'It is the thought that counts'?
As an observer of Christmases past, I have seen children, from ages 4 to 18, throw temper tantrums because they did not get the absolutely most sought after thing-ma-bobby or whatsit. I have seen wives and husbands angry at each other for weeks after Christmas because they didn't get exactly what they had ordered from 'Santa'. Never mind the singular original idea behind the holiday.
Where has the Christmas Spirit been exiled to in this 21st century? Where is the appreciation for the wonderful smells wafting from the kitchen, the popcorn strings or paper chains, and the tradition of families getting together to be together? Where are the simple greetings gone, the surprises of the yule tide, and that unbottled brand of good cheer?
Perhaps I am a smidgeon nostalgic. But I am ready for the kind of Christmas I had when I was a little girl. When everyone gathered around the table, someone praying over the feast, and watching the men in the family letting their belts out a notch. The joy of receiving small gifts from an Aunt or second cousin in England from the post office. And when the 'elf' of the year handed out the abundance from under the tree, feeling fortunate indeed to have gotten as many presents as there were fingers on one tiny hand.
But most of all I hunger for the wonder and anticipation of Christmas Eve Mass with my family. The joyful carols, the scent of evergreen throughout the church, and the Christmas Story told once again. Memories can never be repeated but traditions can be preserved. There are loved ones to whom one can wish good tidings. If they are faraway, then celebrate Christmas with special friends. Be like Scrooge after he got the message from the three apparitions. 'Hold Christmas in your heart throughout the year'. God Bless us everyone.