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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Every year, to some degree or another, I have to overcome the holiday blues. Usually itís a matter of getting started, and then getting finished, with decorating and shopping and wrapping, and steeling myself for the crowds and the traffic, and overcoming the tendency to try to do everything at once. This year, with money as scant as itís ever been since Iíve been an adult, promised to be more difficult than usual.

That isnít how it turned out, though. As a family, we decided to scale back our natural generosity and limit the lavishness. That doesnít exactly come naturally, because we love giving things to each other, and doing things for each other. I have to admit that saying that sounds like a lie, because as much as I love being able to make someoneís life a little better, Iím intimidated by the prospect of fitting it into the construct of the season (and even more, into the time frame).

So it is with a great sense of relief that I can report that my shopping is done. I did it all online, and all within about an hour on Sunday night. That doesnít include the research and planning and thinking I did ahead of time, but once I got started it didnít take long to finish. And by now I know that everything I ordered has been shipped, and all will be here in time. I can relax and enjoy the holiday for what it is, rather that for what I have to put any more effort into making it.

6 December 2009

And since nearly everything that took actual money was for the kids, I will find non-monetary ways to make it up to the adults in my life. Iím not neglecting anyone, just doing what I hope theyíre doing for me Ė not spending money I donít have for things they donít need. That seems to me to be in keeping with the essential spirit of the season.

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