While visiting with relatives for Thanksgiving, my sister and I decided to see what we could find in the stores on Friday. As neither of us had our "lists" or any real desire for particular items, it was more of an opportunity to spend some time together than it was to get some "real deals" for the holidays.
We headed out to the local stores and wandered......literally wandered through the stores looking at the piles and mountains of products and the throngs of people clamoring for the items that were "one day sale specials". Not having participated on the Black Friday Frenzy for years, I was amazed. It reminded me of a sad remake of the movie "Night of the Living Dead"..........people wandering, as if in a daze..........tired, cranky, moving from store to store......simply with the goal of filling their carts. I'm certain many of these people simply wanted to be at home enjoying a well-deserved and long-overdue day off with their families, eating left-over turkey and stuffing, yet here they were......
While it amazed me at how the stores had all geared up for this day so far in advance, how the buying public was participating in the hoopla, and of course at the sheer volume of things to be purchased, I was amazed at something else.....something inside of me. I felt so removed from the process of it all......I had no desire to purchase anything! My thoughts wandered to some of the decorations and how I wanted to create a special holiday atmosphere and mood in our home, but I wasn't processing what items the kids or I "needed" to be happy this holiday season.
My wish list became populated by other things that morning. Here are the first several items:
1. Time to make holiday cookies with the kids
2. Remember to get that family recipe for my grandmother's applesauce cake
3. Find the kids' favorite holiday music CD that got put away with last year's decorations....the one they knew all the words to so we could sing along
4. Cut the construction paper so we could make paper chains for the tree
5. Clear the afternoon after-school schedule so we could go ice-skating
6. Stop by the library for a stock-pile of holiday stories to read in front of the fireplace
My list grew as I wandered along. The true JOY of the holidays for me was not to be about finding the perfect gift. My list didn't cost much money either! My list was about making the TIME with those who are most important to me in my life......it was about making MEMORIES of an unhurried holiday season.......it was about creating TRADITIONS for my children that hopefully would carry over to their adulthood and they would not become one of the wandering zombies at the mall on Black Friday!
I see this as a true joy of aging.....sure I have a few more aches and pains with each passing year.....but I also have a greater sense of the real me and what is important in my life! I'm embracing the wisdom that the aging process brings! Realizing what is truly important is a joy of aging!! I have the courage, wisdom and capability to make the holiday season what I WANT it to be......not what I've been told it should be!What is it you wish your holiday season to be? What is important to you? What brings you JOY?
Choose Joy, Inc.