Looking back Christmas was a big deal in our house. The house was decorated to the nines, we went to evening mass, opened gifts and had a huge schmozz with tonnes of family over. And for the most part I loved it. I enjoyed the baking and took immense amounts of pleasure in wrapping my brothers presents creatively - read so they couldn't open them. One year this involved duct tape and bricks. Over time I became more cynical. The spirit of Christmas seemed to be lost.
I hated the commercialism of it. I hated the snarky people rushing from place to place, making rude gestures when you dared to obey the traffic laws. And I really hated the intensely crowded malls, looking for the perfect gift. To be honest, I really love giving presents. I like thinking up what would suit the person, and imagine how they'd feel. But I don't much enjoy finding said gifts.
Now I procrastinate. I despise driving into the city, dealing with the traffic and crowds, generally putting off the torture until I can't wait any longer - read today. But I've learned the art of power shopping. I have a list of things I'm going to get and I go directly from each place purchasing the gift and then move my rear end home as fast as I can. All said I completed my Christmas shopping in under 3 hours. Not bad considering the wait time in line ups.
Something I've thought about a lot is showing Christmas spirit which for me are the spirits of generosity, giving and gratitude. I think a worthwhile endeavor in the future will be to volunteer at one of the many Christmas dinners for the needy. And to never forget all the wonderful things I have to be grateful for.
So for all you happy shiny faces out there - may the season bring joy and love to your homes. May you and all those you love be safe and happy. Merry Christmas!