Friday, December 10, 2010

Chill At Christmas!

While sick and in bed for the past few days, I've been thinking of the upcoming Christmas holidays.  I've always loved Christmas with all its traditions such as the tree, the lights, the garland-laced mantle and the stockings hanging from the fireplace.  It's such a magical time, and I've always enjoyed driving home in the evening and seeing all the homes covered in colorful lights along the way.

I know that everybody celebrates Christmas differently, and some don't celebrate it at all.  If you don't please bear with me, as you just might enjoy reading this anyway.  Besides being a  religious holiday (which many people seem to forget, but that's another story that I won't get into now), Christmas has also become a time for parties, time with family and friends, and gifts!  It's this last thing that I think has gotten a little crazy lately.  Don't get me wrong, I love giving and receiving gifts. What would Christmas be without them?  However, it seems to me that the joy of giving has been replaced with the stress of overspending.  So many people are struggling financially (us included) and lose the spirit of Christmas.

So this Christmas, slow down (and give your credit card a break)!  Enjoy the season, the lights, the beautiful decorations, the caroling, the scented candles, the smell of baked goods in the kitchen, your relationships, and the innocent faces of children as they sit on Santa's lap in awe.  Refuse to get caught up in the retail trap, and spend only what your budget allows.  If that's baked cookies, so be it!  It takes much more time to prepare such a gift, and it is true ... it's the thought that counts (at least to those who count).  If you have a large family (like us), consider drawing names or playing a game at Christmas.  Our family started this tradition several years ago, and boy has it relieved the pressure!

Another thought for those that have the time, think about so many that are lonely during the holidays and "give" your time.  Maybe it's checking on the elderly or recently widowed neighbor, or maybe it's helping deliver food or toys to the needy.  All of things make a huge difference to the person in need, showing them that somebody cares.  I've done some of these things, and it's a great feeling to see the difference it makes to those in need.

So, I'm wishing you all "Happy Holidays" and hope you allow yourself to spend them the way you really want to.  If you love the malls and crowds, great!  Just do what's true to you (and your wallet)!  You deserve to take charge (and stop charging)!

And for those of you lucky enough to be cruising, I would imagine that your holidays will be filled with new friendships and an appreciation for the company of loved ones far away, not their gifts!  Kind of puts it all in perspective, doesn't it?

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

BTW, if you are buying gifts and using Amazon, clicking on one of the books on our sidebar will take you to Amazon to do your shopping.  We will make a few cents off your purchase, but you won't pay any more.  It's kind of like giving two gifts instead of one! 


Sid said...

Very well said!

Sandee said...

We don't use our credit card for Christmas. Cash only and it's not that much either. We've been doing this for many years and we never even feel the cost of Christmas. You are so very right here.

As of helping and giving back to those in need. That doesn't cost very much at all either. There are tons of rest homes and such that would love so see some Christmas cheer from absolute strangers.

Excellent advice. You and Ken have a great day and a very Merry Christmas. :)

Neophyte Cruiser said...

Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. Hope you're better soon. Happy Holidays to both of you!

Pat Daspit said...

I loved the line....take charge and stop charging! This post was very well done. It really makes one stop and think about what's really important during the Christmas season. Good Job!!!

I purchased several of your Pickled Pirate and Pampered Pirate t-shirts. They are great! They feel good on the body and look good too. Another good job!

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