Monday Smiles – 11/30/2009

The pile of turkey on the platter in the garage refrigerator is dwindling and my wife promises only one more meal of Thanksgiving leftovers.   Next door, the December extravaganza is under construction as thousands of lights are draped loosely from every conceivable roof edge and door jamb while glittered lollipops, lighted reindeer, and inflatable Christmas scenes sprout on the front lawn**.    Down the street, Santa’s sleigh flies over an illuminated Nativity while Frosty the Snowman and several of his friends join the Wise Men as they visit the baby Jesus.    I took a trip to Costco on Sunday and drove around for five minutes without finding a parking place then found the checkout lines so long, I gave up.    There is no doubt … the holidays are here.    It would be all too easy for a spiritual but not religious curmudgeon to launch into a critique of the season, citing rampant commercialism and the hypocrisy of stressed, surly shoppers elbowing their way through stores as peace on earth, goodwill toward men plays in the background.    But I won’t because it’s my favorite time of year.

I love giving gifts and enjoy searching through the malls to find that certain something that says I picked this out just for you.    In my younger days, that search sometimes turned me into one of those stressed, surly shoppers and I certainly occasionally confused very expensive with very special, especially when it came to gifts for my wife.    Age and an economic downturn have made me less inclined toward excess but here’s what I know … my heart was always in the right place.    And I firmly believe that most of the shoppers, even the one in the Escalade who cuts you off then flips you off, are on their own mission to make someone happy.    It may feed their egos to buy bigger and better than the Joneses, but the bottom line is that that it is they are giving in a world where acquiring is the norm.    And that makes the season special, regardless of whether we take the time to acknowledge the reason for the season.    I suppose an advantage of being spiritual but not religious is that I don’t have to get too hung up on the religious details.

Over thirty years ago, I started the ritual of a final shopping trip on Christmas Eve.     I arrive at a mall early in the day, just as it opens.    The stated purpose is to find one additional small gift for my wife and children, but in reality, I’m there to be in the middle of the bustle with no pressure to get anything done.   I roam through the stores, singing or whistling along with the carols and wishing Merry Christmas to anyone who notices me.    I watch the last few stragglers visit Santa and have a cinnamon latte.   I usually buy several ornaments for Santa to leave on the tree … he’s busy at this time of year and appreciates my help.    When I take time to be the happy holiday shopper I find there are others out there, too.    Maybe this year, I’ll try it sooner.

**photo courtesy of Ugly Christmas Lights (here)

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3 Comments on “Monday Smiles – 11/30/2009”

  1. territerri Says:

    This is a very positive perspective during a time of year when it’s so easy to have a negative one.

  2. Wolfbernz Says:

    OMG… I think I saw the same Escalade lol

    It is so nice this time of year to see all the lights on the houses, to hear all the music playing and see all the kids happy faces in anticipation of Christmas.

    Have a great day 🙂

  3. […] perspective than some of the other blogs I have read. I really enjoyed his post about Christmas, Monday Smiles – 11/30/2009, it was Positive and wonderful… You all know how I like to read about positive outlooks on […]

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