In my "old" life, I thrived on the chaos of the holiday season. My brother, Bobby and I and our friends would get up before dawn to head out on Black Friday for all of the sales. Back then, it was who I was. I got sucked into the hunt for the bargains!
When my brother passed away in 2002, he took with him my zest for shopping sprees. I forced myself to go that year and realized why they call it Black Friday. I went to a big department store in search of a special Bat Mobile my nephew wanted. A huge crowd had assembled in the toy department and we were told by the store clerks that the Bat Mobiles were in the storage room waiting to be brought out. I stood there with the rest of the people for at least a half hour. Despite the wait, I remained calm and smiled at whoever looked my way. I chatted with a sweet eighteen year old college student who was there to buy her little brother's present. People began to grumble and voice their "opinions" and the vibes in the toy department changed. Suddenly, the sales clerks wheeled out two pallets filled with Bat Mobiles and then it got U-G-L-Y!!! The crowd turned into an angry mob and rushed all at once, practically knocking each other down. I saw mothers hoarding armfuls of Bat Mobiles, on the verge of beating each other up to get what they came for. I just hung back and decided that I was not going to get caught up in that mess. After the crowd moved on, if any Bat mobile's remained, THEN I would get one.
The mob cleared and all the cars were gone. I told myself that it was a lesson learned. The thrill of the hunt was over and it would be my LAST Black Friday shopping experience. Just as I started to push my cart away, someone tapped me on my shoulder. It was the college student, who handed me a Bat Mobile! She went "in for the kill" and wanted to get one for me, too because I had been so nice to her. That, my dears, is what the holidays are all about. Remaining calm in the midst of the hoopla and holding onto your ideals and morals and to remember the REAL "reason for the season."
So, with the days leading up to Christmas, take care of YOU! Start a new holiday ritual and pamper yourself - afternoon tea - meditation or prayer - set aside time to read - journal - take a walk - soak in a hot bubble bath ... do whatever it takes to make your heart sing and give yourself permission to just BE!