Where is Christmas???

I simply do not get it!  My son sent me a link late last night.  As I looked at it, I felt ill.  Seven deaths and 88 injuries reported yesterday.  All caused by Black Friday shopping.  I am confused and distraught over this.  A teen fell asleep at the wheel driving home from Black Friday shopping.  Was anything she bought worth the fact that now her family will never have her there for another holiday?

Or the stabbings, beatings and other stupidity over parking spaces at Walmart?  Did the guy at Target need to be shot carrying home his television?

I refuse to participate in the frenzy of gift buying that happens on Black Friday.  I refuse to turn such a beautiful time of goodwill into something crass, ugly and mean spirited.  I did have to go out for a minute or two yesterday.  We actually ended up going to four shops.  I had been so busy earlier in the week that I had neglected to plan. 

Shame on me. 

I needed supplies to finish orders, dead lines cannot wait.  I live within two miles of all the stores I went to, if it hadn't been so cold I would have walked.  Maybe I should have.  It took almost four hours to purchase yarn, buttons, ribbon, a zipper repair kit, a few groceries, and to have lunch with Hubby.  I could not wait to get home. 

I loved going into Savers, it wasn't crazy and I actually managed to spend a whopping $22.  I walked out with a Christmas gift for a loved one and a lovely leather dress jacket for me, it needs new buttons (bought those at the craft store) but in mint condition other than that.

Lilly of Lilly's Restaurant

How did we miss this place?
A quick stop at a locally owned restaurant, Hubby and I had never been there, it is now a new favorite! We've driven past it for the almost 11 years I have been here and always wondered how they stay in business, question asked and answered!  It is amazing!  True, authentic Greek food.  I was transported back to the Crete I knew as a kid. 

Two craft stores (only slightly nutty) and a grocery store later we were heading home.  None of the time in the stores was long, it was the massive amount of traffic.  Luckily we know the back roads, but in a two mile radius there are only so many back roads.

Is buying presents helter skelter actually worth it.  Or it is today's version of the hunt, or Hunger Games.  Is it the one that scores the best cheap crap the winner kind of game?

Maybe the reason I feel this way is that I have had the opportunity to see it first hand.  Mom and Dad want their children to have everything they think they want.  Tons of gifts under the tree means success right?

Our twins don't live with us, so it is glaringly obvious when they don't wear, play with or heck even open gifts. Most kids probably don't, but when they come to visit so rarely it is easier to see.  The other day I was looking for a warmer sweater for grand baby to wear, as the twins haven't cleaned out their clothes in years I was fairly certain I would find something stashed in their drawers.  What I found was years of birthday and Christmas presents unused. 

Is it because they didn't like them?  Didn't want them?  Or was it as simple as there was not a need for them and therefore they didn't use them.

Maybe it is age, maybe it is that I am not a materialistic person, maybe it is the fact that there aren't any young children in my house anymore.  I don't feel a need to have piles of useless gifts to find homes for.  I would rather give each one something they truly want and need and just enjoy the good things the season brings.

I follow a page on Facebook, a little seven year old is making dog blankets to raise money for her favorite charity and even setting it up so folks can buy a blanket for donation to a local rescue/shelter.  WOW!  In my world that is definitely what this season is all about!

Making a difference in others lives. 

I love a handmade gift, because I know the person that gave it to me thought about me.  Even if they didn't make it themselves, but bought it from someone like me that thrives on being creative, that is powerful.

Years ago, many, many years ago my ex-father-in-law came for our first Christmas as a family.  I had spent much time making sure his gift was something that had thought and love put into it.  And as it came time to open presents I was so excited.  I ended up feeling crushed, oh he'd loved it, and thanked my ex profusely.  He'd put much time, energy and money into shopping for my ex and daughter.  Bought them so many gifts that never got used. 

Me... well, I knew my place after that.  He'd even been kind enough to leave the tags on the misshapen sweater he'd picked up for $2 and the scratched earrings that matched for fifty cents.  It wasn't the amount he'd spent, he could have picked a bouquet from the yard.  It was the feeling it left that he didn't know me nor want to know me (even though I'd known him for about 8 years at that point). I was kind and wore it while he was there, the sweater didn't hang right, one side was significantly longer and the earrings caused my ears to become infected.  There are many pictures to remind me of that time.  But I wouldn't have hurt his feelings for anything in the world. 

Funny, the only thing that remains almost 30 years later are those earrings, they are in my jewelry box, to always remind me...

Last night, listening to cars zipping by, remembering the harsh voices of people struggling to be the first at everything.  Thinking about the flashing lights of police cars and ambulances.  I wondered if people had truly lost the beauty of the true gift of Christmas. 

 My fingers were zipping through a few projects, a gift for a new baby, hats for someone's Christmas list.  When my cousin posted a question about a gift for a boy and then posted about it being started right then... A few minutes later I got a picture of an adorable little guy wearing a hat that I had made, someone had bought it for a gift. They loved it...

A gift for a baby not born yet...

Hope is not lost.  Not everyone is trying to buy Christmas... Today is Small Business Saturday, I am not hearing as many cars dashing past.  Sad. But ... I will be supporting small businesses today as I order my candles and shop for a few items I need.

I will not get lost in the chaos and madness of holiday shopping, it is not my thing.  For those that love it, I don't judge. I just hope everyone remembers what the season is truly about and that it can't be found in Wal-Mart, Target or any other shopping mall. Unless it is groceries for a family that is doing without or clothes for that child that won't have any... you get the picture right... It's in your heart.  It's pure and beautiful.  Enjoy...

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