Sunday, November 27, 2011

Entering the Chaos


For those of us in the U.S. , we are now safely past Thanksgiving.
The food is eaten.  If you're lucky, you're still enjoying leftovers.
But the busyness of the actual day is behind us.
Maybe you went out of town and you've yet to travel home.
Maybe you just returned home.
Maybe you didn't go away but are winding down from having a house full.

For a lot of people, the past few days have been chaotic to say the least.
Life took a sharp turn towards crazy somewhere around Tuesday or Wednesday
and maybe now you're just catching your breath.

If you're into the Black Friday madness,
maybe you're overwhelmingly exhausted!

For a lot of us {myself included}, maybe you're just overwhelmingly overwhelmed.
Is it just me, or is the holiday season even more commercialized than ever??
Maybe this season we've entered has you wondering just how on earth you're going to get by!
How are you going to meet the demands of your children?
The expectations of other family members?
Of yourself?

This holiday season starts at the end of November
with an amazing opportunity to come together with friends and family to just give thanks.
Even keeping it simple costs money.

Then there's the barrage of ads and more ads.
You can't go anywhere without seeing the "massive" sales.
And maybe you're overwhelmed
because even the massive sales are still not attainable for you.

This season leading up to Christmas has the tendency to be
completely focused on money and the acquisition of things.

I'm not saying that gift-giving isn't a nice and generous thing.
It is, after all, a part of tradition.
But it becomes a little overwhelming when society is so focused on things
rather than the reason
behind the upcoming Christmas season.

I'm not sure what traditions everyone here celebrates.
Perhaps yours isn't a Christian tradition.
I honestly don't know how other religions celebrate.
I don't know how non-religious people view the holiday.
My only frame of reference is the Christian environment I was brought up in
and am raising my own family in.

But I'm pretty sure that the holiday wasn't meant to be based on
getting the best deal
on the best product
in the best store
at the best mall.

So, when there are financial constraints,
and you just want to enjoy the spirit of the holiday with your loved ones,
the pressure of advertising makes this pre-Christmas time difficult.
I avoided the Black Friday madness, though I did go out later in the day to use a gift card.
I'd rather shop from fellow bloggers' Etsy shops than in a mall this year.
Give small businesses an opportunity to grow a little.

I'm really just rambling on...it's a blessed time of the year - giving thanks.
But it leads into a frustrating time of year - holiday shopping pressure.
It's all really about family.
And the need to put Christ at the center of the family
and the family experience -
not just during this holiday season, but always.

Praying for a calm pre-Christmas season.
Praying that we will be able to embrace the spirit of the season
and not worry about what is not in our control - financially and otherwise.
Praying for physical and spiritual health
leading into the next phase of holiday busyness.

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