Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Thoughts

I spent yesterday afternoon shopping for Christmas presents online, and all I can say is "what did we ever do before Amazon?" Good lord, it was easy. No crowds, no lines, no confusion; just type, click, buy. Almost pleasant, actually, as far as shopping goes.

When I was done, I took a few minutes to bask in the glow of being able to buy exactly what I wanted for the girls and our family, without worrying about whether or not we could afford it. I didn't get extravagant - our Christmas gifts are pretty low-key - but the very act of buying things always reminds me of how blessed we are to be able to buy non-essentials comfortably. It is a luxury that I am aware of, and grateful for.

In that spirit, I am trying to be mindful of balancing all the girls' talk about receiving presents with talk about giving wholeheartedly, and being thankful for the many good things we already have in our lives. My local hair salon is doing a toy drive, and this Saturday Hazel and I will be taking a Dora sleeping bag in for a little girl who requested it for Christmas. Then we'll be taking a trip to Second Harvest food bank to make a donation there, and finally, we'll be taking some toys and clothes to the local women's shelter. I wish I was better about making donations and spending time at our local food bank and shelter year-round; we do it occasionally, maybe two or three times each year, but still... if I was the kind of person who made New Year's resolutions, making more time for giving back to our community would be mine this year.

I went ahead and made a "wish list" for myself as I was finishing up my online shopping yesterday, but it occurred to me later in the day, as I was putting away the week's groceries, that what I already have is more than enough: a home, a full fridge, a healthy and happy family - and more! No box under the tree can compete with that.

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