Rooster alarm clock or the dancing deer sweater? What says I love you more?

Have you noticed that you are feeling more stressed out around these “relaxing days” more than other times of the year?  The crowded shopping malls, the angry shoppers perusing useless crap that no one would buy any other time of the year.
Then there’s the annoying Christmas music reminding you that if you haven’t found so and so the perfect gift by now you are running out of time.  You must be thorough and consider all possibilities because she might really like that horrible sweater with dancing deer on it and of course your mother needs a new rooster clock to replace the one you got her last year.
I don’t hate the holidays.  I’m not trying to be a Grinch or whatever else the media will call me for not buying this consumer/product love fest as the answer to the U.S.’s economic problems but I always figured that the point of these times was to hang out with loved ones have some time to appreciate what you have within your family, friends, etc.  It should be a celebration of love and taking time to see what matters but instead we’re like little monkeys looking at the T.V. screen to see what shiny new thing to buy.
Instead, I’m rushed and exhausted by walking past the gray faces on the bus as my tired shaky arms carry bags full of God knows what for people.  Why are we choosing to do this to ourselves?
I had dinner with a friend the other night and he was telling me about how this is the busiest time for a couple of his clients.  One owns a funeral home and the other is a psychiatrist.  It makes me think we have this thing backwards.
I’ve noticed that the holidays are so much less about the point.  It’s become this huge consumption oriented time of busy-ness that just distracts you from feeling what you feel, from reflecting on the year, on what you liked, what you didn’t like – things you’d like to change, things you’d like to remain the same.
In my family, the presents are the least favorite part of the night for me.  It’s the games, the food, the drinks, being with my family that is the primary joy on Christmas day.
Cheers to those good times!

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