Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas complaints

This is Camy, complaining. Nothing goes the way I want it to during Christmas.

I hate traveling in general, but what’s worse is that I have to brave crowded airports during the busiest time of the year when I’d rather be home sleeping in.

I hate rude people at the mall, but I have to dive into the fray in order to get gifts for everybody on my list. And then I inevitably forget someone and have to go back to the mall for one or two more things.

And if I’m smart and actually buy something online, it ends up being shipped late unless I pay up the wazoo for faster shipping fees.

I try to fish for what my parents want, and once I get them something, I find they either already have it, just bought it, or don’t want it.

I light my aromatherapy candle to make myself calm down and de-stress, and I end up setting fire to my Kleenex box.

My dog has just shed hair all over the cardigan I’m knitting for my mother. And I just discovered I don’t have enough yarn and need to order one more ball and hope it arrives in time for me to finish the cardigan and mail it to her so she gets it before Christmas.

I have gained 10 pounds in the last two months and I don’t fit into my pants for Christmas dinner at my in-laws’.

And people are preaching platitudes to me about remembering the reason for the season? Calling me Martha when I should have a more Mary-like attitude? Mary never dealt with the Lady-Deathstrike-meets-Michael-Meyers cashier at Macys!

Yet if I stop my consumer-driven frenzy and don’t give anyone anything for Christmas, I’ll lose all my friends and Aunty Geraldine will send me a fruitcake doorstopper.

(Actually, Aunty Geraldine will probably still send me a fruitcake doorstopper, regardless of what I do or don’t do.)

We live in America. Let’s face it. It’s hard to get away from the gift-driven aspect of Christmas.

So let’s prioritize. My best friend Charlotte is totally not going to care if her gift is late, or even if it’s only a $2 pair of mittens from Walmart. Or a hand-knitted scarf. Or a hand-made card.

However, I need to find something decent for Cousin Angelica, so I’ll get her a gift card. Who cares if it’s impersonal? My mental well-being is at stake, here.

If mom gets upset her gift is late, I’ll be on her “ignore list” for only 6 months. I’ll get her something extra nice for her birthday.

If I whittle down my list this way, I actually have time to sit down with a cup of cocoa (heaped with marshmallows). I have time to take a few deep breaths, spend some quality time with Jesus, let Him speak to me about this past year, about what He’d like for me this next year.

And maybe He’ll give me an idea of what to get Aunty Geraldine.

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