I have to confess something. I hate Christmas shopping. Not so much the act of going to the stores with a Red Cup (from Starbucks, of course) in hand and Christmas music playing in the background because I love that. I love bringing home bags of goodies and wrapping them up with big pretty bows and putting them under the tree. But I really, really dread picking out the gifts. I get so stressed out trying to find the perfect present for each person on my list and the next thing I know, it's December 20 and I have wasted my favorite season running around to a million stores looking for one specific thing that I've actually missed the whole season. Too often I have run out of time trying to figure out what someone special on my list would love, and I'm forced to purchase some generic gift with zero meaning behind it simply because I must give them something. I hate that.
There are 50 days until Christmas. I have not purchased a single gift. I have bought 500 ornaments, candles, napkin rings, countless Red Cups, and already found the Christmas radio station. I want to spend the next 50 days baking, hanging Christmas lights outside, decorating the tree, and finally learning how to make divinity. I want to go on holiday home tours and go to a holiday performance at the symphony. I want to help out someone in need and hopefully brighten their holiday a little bit. I want to watch the Michael Buble holiday special and light my first fire in my fireplace. I want to drive around our favorite little towns in Georgia and pick out our ornaments for this year. I want to go to Fantasy in Lights and ride the trolly with hot chocolate in one hand and Todd's hand in the other.
I don't want to spend the next 50 days stressing out about how meaningless the gift was that I got my grandma or if I thought the gift I bought my sister was better than the one I bought my brother. I don't want to worry about my parents spending money on me. I don't want anything. I just want to enjoy every minute of the next two months.
When I have a family of my own, I don't want Christmas to be a huge present blow out. Not that I wasn't thankful that my parents always went completely overboard when I was a child...but there are very few presents I actually remember. I remember the pajamas and matching robes my mom made for my sister and I and I remember getting my kitten, Olive. But one of my most memorable Christmas' to date had nothing to do with the presents. Christmas morning was brief. We got through the presents quickly, loaded up in the car and spent the next week at a cabin in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. I can remember nearly every minute that we spent there. I remember my chair falling backwards at Joey's Pancake House and me rolling across the dining room in front of a few hundred people (that might be because my sister retells the story every chance she gets). I remember teaching my little brother how to ski and going to that amazing Christmas store where my mom found seaweed for her Christmas tree.
I just wish there wasn't so much pressure and emphasis on Christmas presents.
But don't you think for a minute I won't be the first person in line for the after Christmas sales!