Working retail during the holidays season has most certainly made me rethink Christmas. At my job we started getting Christmas stuff in August which had to be out by the second week of September and we just kept getting more and more stock in to be put out asap!
My store opened earlier than usual on Thanksgiving day and closed later, then opened at 5am on Black Friday. These days it's all about how much money the stores can rake in instead of counting your blessings, being with loved ones, and savoring the season.
People buying impersonal gifts on credit cards, squabbling over a few cents here and there over items they thought were on sale but are not, and just plain rude. The nice people, thankfully, outweigh the bad apples - but not before making me want to punch them in the throat!
Am I cynical and soured this holiday season.
Yes, just a little.
This has been our simplest Christmas ever. I didn't buy any new decorations (in fact, I gave a lot away). I kept the tree simple: red and silver balls with white & red lights and a white ribbon bow with red/green polka dots as our tree topper.
I tried to get everyone in our family a little something. Our children have two gifts under the tree. We didn't go overboard with spending because we were determined not to rack up more debt and the budget simply wouldn't allow for more.
Christmas is about so much more than the gifts under the tree. It's about love and family. It's about goodwill towards men and peace on earth. It's about Jesus.
Next year, I intend to keep Christmas simple yet again.
I will be working on handmade gifts throughout the year. I will be spending time with my family cooking, baking and memory making. I will be drinking cocoa while watching sappy Christmas movies by the glow of the Christmas tree.
And I will remember the little babe born in a manger...