Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Holidays... More like the Holidaze!

I must admit... I'm not a big holiday guy. But this isn't anything new. When I was a kid, I loved all of the holidays. Even George Washington's birthday. But that's because we had early dismissal. Once I neared my teens I began to care less and less about the holidays... except for New Year's Day. But that was because all the major college bowl games came on, starting with the Citrus Bowl at 11:30 am and concluding with the Sugar Bowl, which usually ended a little after midnight. However, some formula that incorporates numerous polls, a computer that seems a bit outdated, and many corporate sponsors ruined that day for me. It is fun to pig out on Thanksgiving and watch football, though. Ok... back to the point I was getting at, which is the holidays. The day after Thanksgiving, the holiday shopping madness officially begins. We know that day to be "Black Friday". Personally, I think its a bunch of bullshit. I can remember going out on one "Black Friday" and watching two women tug, pull, and damn near fight over a toy. Here's what happened.... Woman 1: (picks up toy of shelf). Woman 2: "Bitch, I seen it first!". Woman 1: "But I grabbed it!" Enter security. Can you believe they had to break them up? You would've thought the World's last food stamp was at stake or something. But all of this was over a toy. Is this what the Holidays turns people into? Grown women fighting over a toy? I just walked away and continued my shopping, purchasing some pajamas for my son. When Christmas day arrived, he tore up the packaging like a seasoned pro. His eyes lit up when he saw the Ben 10, Spider-Man, and other cartoon characters on his pajamas. I bought him some other things but those were the gifts he seemed to remember the most. I didn't have a camera but the look on his face was one I'll never forget. You see, that's the joy I get out of Christmas and the holiday season, in general... the look on his face and his sister's face as they open their gifts. Its not about the amount of gifts you receive or the dollar amount. Its the thought that counts. And its amazing how the simplest gift can provide so much joy. There's no need for holiday shoppers to get caught up in the stress the season can provide. And the funny thing is the same stress triggers occur every year: lots of shopping and preparation, large crowds, and end-of-the-year responsibilities. With so much already going on in one's personal life, the search for "the perfect gift", the attitude of a salesperson that's been working for 10 hours straight, and the five people that bumped into you but didn't bother to say excuse me add even more frustration. And what do you expect when you wait 'til so late to begin your shopping? The best thing to do is be reasonable. Shop within your budget. And if you're really irritated by certain family members... don't even go around them. No need to be fake about it. If you are one of those people that just HAS TO get those "wonderful gifts", shop throughout the year, like WAY before Thanksgiving. If you want to pick up "stocking stuffers", grab those later because you can get them anytime (Stores like Walgreen's has all kinds of things... and the lines are virtually non-existent). If you're someone that likes to entertain a large group of people during the holidays, hire a cleaning company. That way, you don't have to yell at the kids or your spouse for not vacuuming the living room at a 360 degree angle or washing the dishes left-handed with one eye closed. Planning ahead is the most important thing. No need to be discouraged over things you don't have or can't afford. Be thankful for the most important gift of all... life.

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