Allergic to Christmas shopping?

So I’m in Target yesterday. It’s four days until Christmas. About half-way done with my shopping overall, I meander through the madness that is the toy section. Carts are haphazardly strewn about. Stressed out parents pore through the picked-over treasures. I end up wandering around the Christmas decor section because I can’t help myself (note to everyone: I did not buy a thing!). After 45 minutes, I find myself at the front of the store with a raging headache. I feel as if I *might* throw up, especially if those damn wandering carolers come back down the aisle. What is going on I wonder?? And then I realize, every time I’ve gone shopping in the last few days, I’ve come home with a headache. I must be allergic to Christmas shopping!

More than likely, I’m allergic to the fragrant Christmas decor as I find it no coincidence that every time I visit my happy place (Michael’s Crafts), I leave with head a-pounding. But I’m thinking about this Christmas shopping business. I’m certain it’s last-minute shopping that’s causing my troubles. And I wonder, why bother?

I know many people who eschew the trappings of Christmas and consider the holiday a symbol of greedy commercial materialism, everything that is wrong with the world. While I do agree that many people go overboard, I must admit I love presents. I do! I love giving them and receiving them. For me, it’s the joy. It makes me so happy to think of gifts that will make my loved ones squeal on Christmas morning. I love surprising Mr. T., I love seeing pictures of my friends’ kids playing with silly toys I’ve given them. I absolutely adore knowing that my thoughtfulness makes someone’s day brighter. And, as Mr. T and anyone else in my family can contest, I heart prezzies! I seriously can’t help myself. (Starting about now, I will be a complete pest, trying to open at least one gift before Christmas. What can I say, I love surprises!)

And so, I will continue the last-minute shopping quest. I still have a few people to find something wonderful for and I will brave the roads and department stores knowing that it’s not about the “stuff” per se. It’s not about how much money I spend or how many trinkets I find. It’s about the happy faces on Christmas morning and sharing my blessings all around. Yay!

(Of course, this joy and happiness does presume that the gifts I bestow upon family and friends do not include things like vegetable peelers, scotch tape and pink flannel pajamas with large dogs on them (actual gift from my mother circa 1997).)


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