I can handle holiday shopping, especially when the spirit of Christmas fills the air and finds its way into the hearts of the other shoppers. When a stranger smiles, remembers the manners his or her mother taught them and wishes you Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday, it’s magical.
Yesterday, my husband and I ventured outside of our small town and went to the big city for a few gifts that aren't stocked on our Five & Dime shelves in rural America and surprisingly that is exactly the experience we enjoyed. A true sense of Christmas.
Maybe it's the tough financial times we've all experienced over the past year that has made us realize what is truly important. It's not the number of gifts you receive or give on December 25th that is important but rather the smile and twinkle of the person offering you a hug and kiss, for no other reason than they love you. Even a cyber-hug.
It will be a hard-candy Christmas in my house. We’re watching our pennies, and I must say, I haven't been so excited about the festivities for a number of years. We are well. We have a warm home and the cupboard is not empty. So we’re good. And with the extra dollars we’ve found or been able to save, we’ve decided to help others instead of buying another toy or article of clothing that would most likely find its way into the spring yard sale box.
My happiest memory as a child was if the years when we received only one or two gifts and a candy cane or an orange. There wasn’t a pile of gifts. I remember them well. One year I received a fuzzy, pink housecoat and slippers. Another year a Susie Smart Doll. I loved that doll. And one year, Sants showed up early with a stereo and a Christmas album. On Christmas morning, we each received a record. I got the Beatles. I have wonderful memories of listening to the Christmas album my mom played over and over while baking sugar cut-out cookies and driving my parents nuts listening to Paul, John, George and Ringo.
My DH and I hope that what we’ve been able to put aside and give will make the season happy for a few others. Perphaps they will have a treasured memory.
So, as you shop, please remember the true meaning of the season. Find it in your hearts to help someone, and look others in the eye, smile and wish them all a Happy Holidays.