I blame Charlie Brown (and probably too much coffee)

It’s been simmering and was just below the surface. Then I watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas Show last night and it happened.

My Christmas Crazies started.

Spending money and buying lots of “stuff” can leave me unbalanced at any time of the year, but this time of the year I get completely unbalanced materially and financially.

(And have you indulged in Starbuck’s bottled Iced Coffee – Vanilla? I may have just a little too much…)

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My upbringing was based on having what you needed with a few extras thrown in and no expectation for large material stockpiling. Larger purchases were meant for traveling and moments together rather than big amounts of stuff. So, that stuck and it is pretty much the philosophy that guides me when I let it. Aside from a few years when I first lived on my own and had to have the biggest stocking ever made and it needed to be filled or when money was a little less of an issue later on and a huge amount of presents arrived under the tree, I appreciate the “less is more” day-to-day lifestyle. In those years where I overindulged, I also made a whole batch of cookie dough and ate it raw because I was now a grownup and I could. What did my mother know? Then I was sick. I devoured a whole jar of maraschino cherries, including the juice of course, because I could. Then I was sick.

So, maybe my parents did know a thing or two.

As I tried on the overindulgence in life’s stuff, I also felt a bit “ill” and uncomfortable. To this day, there comes a point most often this time of the year, where I become uncomfortable with all of the purchasing that I have done. It makes sense since this is the time of year where I have the most people to buy for.

December is one of my most favorite months. It is the beginning of winter and it hosts many holidays and acts of kindness. I love gift-giving. I started this blog because I love gift-giving and wanted to share ideas with you. I spend countless hours thinking about gifts for people and am always in “scanning” mode searching for something meaningful. I have been keeping notes all year and making purchases all year so that I could buy meaningful gifts that show that I was thinking about the people who are on my gift list. I cannot wait for them to finally get their gifts so they know that I love them and was thinking of them. That’s my favorite part!

But by now I have done the majority of my shopping and have plans for the rest of it. The time starts to tick as the deadlines approach with Dec. 25th being the final deadline since I celebrate Christmas, and earlier than that for many packages since I ship them back “home” to friends and family. And because I have shopped earlier, there are always last-minute add-ons because I enjoy the gift-giving process and cannot help myself. And then I get caught up in the excitement and the magic and make more purchases to make the magic “real”. And then there are all of those fabulous catalogs that come my way taunting me with things so that I want to start my own huge wish list and then I have to reel myself in and remember that I do not need it, do not have space, do not have time to do it and probably already have something like it. I start to wrap and wonder if a package is incomplete as I assess the “holes” in the purchases that I have already made and then make a plan to fill them.

And now is the time that I start to focus on the true “giving” part of my holiday where my family gives to someone or a bunch of someone’s who truly need “the magic” of the season.

And I still need to buy groceries. And my kids have grown and their little bodies refuse to be stuffed into last year’s clothes, or even worse, the year before. Then I remember that I want to thank my mailman who goes the extra mile all year because my hands are full with wee ones. And my garbage collector’s take super-de-duper good care of me, oh yes, and my UPS guy.

Phew…I thought I was almost done but now there is more shopping.

Then I start to get funky as all of the buying and needing and wanting and gathering start to get lumped together. Because I love ALL parts of the season, they are bound to collide. I believe in thoughtful token gifts, but get caught up when I see many things that I think someone would like. It’s not a token anymore if it is a giant pile. And I like to take time for the religious parts of the season, which has nothing to do with material purchases. And I like to combine the “material part” with the “giving to those who need help” part.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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I call it the Christmas Crazies and it’s that moment when I take a pause.

I just can’t buy another thing. I do not want to think about what I have left to buy and who needs what. It will have to wait a day or two.

Ohmmmmm…breathing    breathing     breathing

It will pass as it does every time.

***********************************

My moment to pause has arrived again this year, a little earlier than usual, so I am going to sit back and watch the season unfold for a bit. Sort of like “sitting this one out” for a moment to get my balance and then I will be back in the game with a clear head to finish out the season in a way that makes sense and feels good.

It is a great time for popcorn and a holiday show (but not ones about buying things), for a tasty treat made with my favorite people and shared with a neighbor, and a wonderful time to just “be”.

After I get my coffee, of course.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: My Christmas Crazies Calmed | Make it, Bake it or Buy it!

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