Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas & Black Friday

I have never participated in the whole Black Friday phenemon until this year and I only did so because I picked up a part-time job at the "Guess" store at the Outlet Mall in Park City, UT. Prior to working that day, I had only worked one other day in that store.

I went in at 8:00 AM and worked until 5:00 PM. It was busy, but not crazy busy like the managers had hoped...maybe because it was about 3° outside and why in the world would anybody shop at an outdoor mall instead of opting for a warm, cozy indoor mall??

Early in the day, I loved working with the customers. A lot of families came in together and to watch mothers and daughters/daughter-in-laws shop together was a lot of fun. I was working the Fitting Rooms and I had several Mother-in-laws turn to me after I put their DIL in a room, and say, "Isn't she a doll?" or "I just love that son is a lucky man". It was great to hear such kind sentiments and to see such love exchanged between these people...But, as the day wore on, I saw people bickering and snapping at each other. I watched as spoiled, entitled daughters pitche little fits when their mothers told them something didn't look so great on them or made them limit their purchases. It became very exhausting and it really made me stop and think about this whole festive holiday.

I was kind of disappointed to see people SO caught up in the "shopping" aspect of things that they treated people with disrespect. It was a major contradiction in my eyes, but I don't want to judge, I just want to be aware and turn my focus in another direction.

I would absolutely love Christmas if I didn't get even one gift! And I sincerely mean that. What I love the very most about this holiday is the honor paid to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I love the sights, smells, the colors, music and the anxious anticipation on my *Littles* faces. I love the cheesy Christmas movies, time spent with family and friends. And the foods are just more than I can handle...really...I'm trying to pace myself and it's very difficult.

So here is what I am focusing on this Christmas season:

1. Simplifying. Rather than focusing on what to buy everyone, I'm going try to find ways to serve those I love...of course I will get them presents, but I refuse to go "overboard" like in past years.

2. Stay Centered. In the past I have allowed myself to get so overwhelmed because I would try to do everything...make ALL of the fabulous recipes, the cutest crafts, power shop until I want to drop and go to all of the amazing events going on in our town. I will focus on what I CAN do and know that it will be enough. Everything else, I will admire from afar and file away for possible future use. Things come and go, things can wait, but time with loved ones is more precious than anything else in the world.

3. Remember the REAL meaning of Christmas. Brad and I decided that we will read all of the accounts of His birth found in the Bible. We've read them all before, but this year we will really focus on each account. We want to help out some needy children and their families and play "Secret Santa" to them. But most of all we want to take time to breathe and reflect on the bounteous blessings of our life together.

I love my family and I love all that I have. I don't need anymore clothes, shoes, purses, or trinkets to clutter my house. I have all that I need and I have more than I could have ever dreamed.

Life is amazing. As I reflect back on the trials of this past year, I am forever grateful that my brother's life was spared, for whatever reason, and that he has emerged from his motorcycle accident with no long-term effects. I am so proud of my husband for making the most difficult decision in his leave a 34 year career and start a new business. I can't believe that my dad is still with us (but so glad that he is!) He has endured more physical ailments than anyone I personally know. He is strong and has kept his adorable sense of humor which has brought all of us through some of our darkest moments. He is my hero!

So this Christmas, I have EVERYTHING to look forward to and none of them require wrapping paper, tape, ribbons or bows. I am anxious to watch my *Littles* on Christmas morning as they see what Santa has brought them...but more importantly, I am loving being able to teach them the REAL reason we give and receive gifts and I love that they are learning and understanding the importance of this joyous celebration.

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy Hanukkah...I hope you all receive all of the important things that bring true joy in life!


Becky said...

You always have such wonderful in sites. I look forward to reading your blog. I take things away from it such as wonderful Swiss bread recipes and the one that saved my homemade cranberry sauce was your recipe for brown sugar(I thought I had some, and when I needed it the most, there was none but yes I did have molasses and regular sugar and your wonderful blog. You inspire in ways you don't know. I have always loved the Beatles, but since I started reading your blog there are times during the day when the words and tune "you may say I'm a Dreamer, but I'm not the only one," pop into my head, I smile not knowing why I would think of that right at that moment, and I think of how thankful I am for all the wonderful people in my life that have inspired me. Keep writing, there are those of us that look forward to it.

addicted2shius said...

I'm sorry you had to experience the brutality of black Friday. It's exactly those reasons that I never shop on that day. People are so ruthless to one another just to save some money! It ruins the whole concept of giving to one another and the spirit of Christmas.

Lynn said...

Love your thoughts Mary! That is a wonderful list. One that I know is so you.

I want to be more like you. ; D