Christmas is quickly approaching, and the smell of fresh-cut trees filling the air with that once-a-year odor of balsam fir and cedar greenery puts the Christmas spirit in high gear. It even affects the “Scrooges” among us who have only to take one walk through a department store all decked out with Christmas trees and twinkling lights and with carols softly filling the air amid the hustle and bustle of shoppers. Before you know it, the Christmas mood hits.
Who can resist? And that’s a good thing, because Christmas is joy — joy that Jesus Christ was born. It’s a time to celebrate His birth when happiness spreads with decorating and the sharing of gifts.
What kind of shopper are you? Do you shop year-round or procrastinate and wait until Dec. 24, when the prices are slashed in half? Some folks wait on purpose until the last minute, saying that puts them in the Christmas spirit, but it also might mean putting them in the dog-house when they can’t find that special gift they had in mind for that special person in their life.
Speaking for myself — “Miss Practicality’ — I have a Christmas closet where I stow gifts year-round, making my list and checking it twice. Knowing my recipients’ likes and dislikes makes it easier to purchase through the year when you spot that item on sale. Bingo! Into the closet it goes.
Nearer the holiday season, when local grocers run their BOGO items, the adult grandchildren — with homes of their own and pantries to fill — get a Christmas-themed, decorative, reusable, grocery bag with their names on it. Into the bag goes an item I know they can use until it’s jammed full. I then add a little red and green tissue paper and, viola, it’s ready to sit under the tree.
Shopping this way, instead of joining the “Black Friday” shopping crowd, lets me make better choices, save money, enjoy it more and be less stressed. Works for me.
By the time the Christmas tree is put up, the gifts are ready to be placed under it, allowing more time to attend Christmas cantatas at local churches, various Nativity scenes and church services to sing carols, such as “Silent Night” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and emphasize Jesus’ birth in a lowly manger. He is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas!
Contributor Jean Tanner is a lifetime rural resident of the Bluffton area and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.