Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Holidays are Here

I have already succumbed to the lure of Wal-Mart's Christmas atmosphere. A couple weeks ago I was in for a routine errand; enjoying the festive decorations and music when, I became so comfortable, I went over and bought some pants for Jaden. He was doing quite well wearing shorts, mind you he wouldn't wear jeans anyway, but with winter approaching I had to break down!

The festive decorations, short lines and smart new organization of the store worked the consumer trick: I spent money the money right then, not even blinking an eye.
Luckily, I spent money on what he needed, had budgeted- But the whole time I was gorging on the opportunity to purchase, the different items around me started ratcheting up a Christmas list. Suddenly I was wanting more. Obviously, I needed to start my portion control purchasing; sooner than later.

I decided I need a plan to help me through the holidays- even a plan for the bell ringers who work for the Salvation Army. Because I feel the guilt when I have to walk passed them. Regardless if I have given money and there has been a shift change while I was in the store!

The first part of the plan is to be grateful and notice what I have. To let go of what I don't. The other day I was talking with my sister, complaining about not being able to wear contacts, wanting new glasses or "something" that would take away the "bite" of having to wear spectacles. She reminded me that during the Holocaust, the prisoners had their eye wear taken from them.


I don't plan on shedding my glasses, driving to Wal-Mart, and pointing out to Salvation Army volunteers that I didn't see them as the exscuse as to why I am not putting money into the bucket. However, I did linger without them a bit this morning and tried to comprehend the state of depression I could sink into if my world were a mere smudge of dull colors, whispers of movement, and the loss of a focal point. It would limit me in every way imaginable. True, I wouldn't be able to see what I was missing at the mall, being kept in the dark like that could have its benefits, but you get the picture.

My next manifesto: I won't go shopping during the evening when I am tired, hungry, and more likely to break down and buy. I have a small notebook to write down what I have spent already, to remind myself what will be under the tree or that we have gotten this past year that may as well be a reminder that we had an abundant year.

Coins will be ready to pass out to bell ringers, and once that is depleted then I will be prepared with a smile for the volunteers, insteed of averting my eyes, and worried about what they think.

I will put good Christmas music on the radio to alleviate the anxiety of the day and to create the kind of mood that makes the season special.

When I eat, I will leave a bit of room to remind myself of the hunger that others feel in their lives at this time without family, food, let alone the gifts that seem to be important to me.

And I will write.

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