It’s been a minute or two since I’ve regaled you with the shenanigans that comprise my humble life.
I’ve been well. It’s been birthday season in my world, so I’ve been busy celebrating that for the past 7 days, but never mind. More on that later. I know that everyone’s busy enjoying the Christmas season and focus is elsewhere.
Speaking of Christmas…
I have been watching my budget VERY closely and haven’t really been to the mall in a few weeks. I went there for the first time last week. I realized how conditioned my body was to Christmas music. I was at the store and then I was immediately taken in by the decorations, the sparkling, twinkling, blinking tiny lights on the green garlands hanging ever so casually all over doorways and staircases. Then I noticed the uniforms of the mall workers: some wearing festive red vests, some wearing Santa hats tilted roguishly to the side. Everything was shiny and on its best behaviour. The mall was ready to get people to part with their money. It was go time. I saw people leaving with big bags of STUFF. I don’t know what was in the bags, but I wondered if it held anything special, anything that couldn’t be bought another time of year or if it needed to be bought at all. I looked at the spatula that had ‘Jingle Bells’ printed across the flat teflon, presumably for Christmas-only food preparation. I saw a man leave with 5 foot stools. I wondered what those were for – why five? why now?
It was so interesting to me. Being in the mall and not having money to spend and not willing to go into debt to get stuff was like being the only sober one in the bar (which I have A LOT of experience with anyway, so I know). This piece is not about passing judgement or anything because only he who has never been shopping on December 24th shall cast the first stone! Because I don’t have cable nor listen to Canadian radio regularly and am not bombarded with “Buy! Buy! BUY NOW!!” with every turn, I walked into the mall quite disconnected from the anxiety and, I guess, excitement. For me, it’s just a trip to the mall, except that it’s WAY busier and there is a lot more stuff available.
Having said that, though, I was at a store this week and it was quiet in the aisle where I was and I could hear the Christmas music and like that instinct that takes over to move your waist when a good soca song comes on, I felt to put something in my basket. In that moment, I remember experiencing that involuntary feeling of wanting to buy something, anything, because it was Christmas. How strange! Was it like that this whole time? Interesting…it felt like wanting to eat popcorn at the movies…but you don’t even like popcorn. You know what I mean?
Anyway, the point is that Christmas is about love and about sharing smiles and hugs and good times with others. Sure, it’s about the presents and excitement, but it’s also about intangible things like gratitude and family and love.
That is all.