Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Thoughts

For all of you “regulars” out there, you are probably wondering where is my peeved Christmas blog of the year? The one where I bitch about traffic, selfish folks and hounds-like sales people … So, I guess, I am past due …

Only this year might be a little different than most others … Maybe …

First off, I wonder where in the world “the recession” is! Definitely not in The US! Or not in Greensboro, NC! Friendly Shopping Center is just as hard to drive through as any other year. Stores are still full, lines are interminable and people are crazy, impatient, and can’t drive for doo-doo, either! Just like always … A woman is arguing with her mom over whether her sister will like a brown or a beige sweater – which to seems immaterial to me … People across the board are buying “snuggies”! Should I say any more?!?

This is, just like any other year, a year for plenty of useless presents under the tree, like good ol’ America has taught us as a tradition for many decades now! Macy’s will survive, after all!

So, yeah, whatever recession NBC or FOX is talking about … I am not seeing it …

But this Christmas has been sort of different, so far, on a personal level, though … I have only bought practical and rational things for my share! No snuggies here! Just things I know people want (for sure!) and can enjoy, or things that will be memorable. I hope! My folks finally got my presents a couple of weeks before Christmas, which is an accomplishment (instead of after New Year’s!) , so I planned ahead! And the rest of my crowd will get thoughtful gifts, I hope, but no uselessness. No waste. Small gifts, but meaningful. I hope. So, I guess I am more conservative, more “recession” aware myself … Maybe.

I have also been impressed by the amount of vendors, especially restaurants that offer a lot of deals around these times. Just coupons, and discounts for people who want to have a meal in style on a budget. I was shocked by the avalanche of coupons from everywhere. There are definitely deals out there, people! Open your junk mail and buy your paper! There is good stuff! I appreciated the effort of our retailers that wanted our business but understood we need help affording it. Now, that’s thoughtfulness!

One thing that did peeve me was … all the places that had “suggestions” flyers, and such. You got to Fresh Market, they have suggestions of what you can serve for dinner or snacks for Christmas. You go to Chick-Fil-a, they have suggestions about what you should fill up your stockings with. Really?!?! We need all this help?! What happened with our own thoughtfulness and care into what we buy for our loved ones and what we make a tradition out of cooking for Christmas?! In this world where we have the cell phone, the tv, the DVR, and the GPS working and thinking for us, do we really need help thinking tradition for Christmas, too?!? Should we retire our brains and let the retailers make Christmas for us next year?! Sad. In my book!

This Christmas also made me melt when I heard some stories of charity. Not only the familiar ones, ones of which I have been part of, like feeding the homeless and such, but stories of people giving up their Christmas bonus, however small, for people less fortunate. At work, we got $50 gift cards to various grocery stores. But they only went to benefited employees. The part timers, got nothing. Some benefited employees, although on a slim budget themselves, gave up theirs towards a draw which will allow some part timers to have a grocery card, too, and have a Christmas meal for their families, also, a meal which might not have happened if it were not for this card, maybe. In this world, of newspapers going out of business and so many people losing jobs, this made me melt! True charity is born out of not much, and giving, all at the same time. So moving!

We live in a caring world, sometimes, don’t we?! People might be hungry, but they still have a heart! I know it’s a cliché, but it’s what Christmas should be all about. Charity just because, for people who really need it. No snuggies. Please!

My food is cooked, and my wine is bought, and my grape leaves rolled! My sweetie is coming to town tomorrow, so my heart is settled! So, Christmas can start tomorrow if it wants to! And the snow we just got today … makes it all the more perfect.

I hope all of us have a quiet and peaceful Christmas … With lots of light, laughs, good food, and good people around us. I hope we’re full of hope and wonder for the next year and we all open our hearts to each other, friend, or stranger, so we can receive the fullness and richness that is out there for us to enjoy …

No worries, just endless blessings to all of us!

Make it a safe and happy one, everyone!

No comments: