Christmas Season Shopping… it seems really crazy to me. We know all fricken year that Christmas is the 25th of December, yet we wait ( and I mean WE) and then run into everyone for 3 weeks before Christmas. And why all the hoopla of buying thousands of dollars in gifts?

I went into a Kohls last year… did you notice I said last year? ( That is the ONLY time I have taken the pleasure of this check out pattern) It was like this line in this photo. I had to buy a roaster, and  it was in the back of the store. I get this roaster, kinda awkward to hang onto, and I did not realize when I was number 55 in line how heavy it was, but let me tell you by the time I got down to being 25 in line the lady in the front of me was looking more like a shelf to rest this increasingly HEAVIER roaster on then a person. By the time I was 5 till the checkout I was feeling my nose itching, my back aching, and wondering how the heck I was holding onto this 1000 pound roaster.

We live about 30 miles north of Syracuse, 15 north of The Great Northern Mall, and let me tell ya, I like doing whatever shopping I can in Fulton ! The other day I went into Walmart up here and there were open cash register lines, employees smiling and offering to take you in their lines. We went over to the dreaded Great Northern Mall area yesterday evening, and we thought we were going to need to call 911 so we could get out of our parking spot, people in and out of the stores, hustling , bustling. Mark described it as watching ants in the sand.

It really makes Christmas a disappointment. After 2-3 weeks of the pushing and grabbing, and the folks using plastic like it is cash.. when Christmas morning comes it goes by so quickly that the afternoon can’t help but bring a feeling of “Is that it?” It is so easy to forget what it is all about.

I love going around at night and seeing the different decorations, 100_4607_edited I like to hit stores at 8 or 9 PM. I love the magic of Christmas in a child’s eyes, the magic of Santa, the wonders with the lights and decorations. I love Christmas Eve and gathering with the family for Stroganoff buffet dinner and gift exchanging. We changed the gift exchange process a few years back, we used to buy for every other person- and when there are up to 17 people maybe even 20- it was a struggle! First the opening of gifts went on for hours, and secondly the financial strain on everyone was incredible, and finally buying stuff because you are supposed to, but not having any idea what the other person needs made it feel almost phoney. So now, all over 18  bring 1 gift each worth 20.00 The under 18 group all exchange names.  The adults draw numbers, and number one picks a gift first, then as more people open gifts, each new gift opener has the chance to trade the gift with someone else who already opened the gift. It is really funny, last year Mark got a counter top fountain, and we constantly tease Amanda cuz she took it from him when it was her turn to open a gift. She was eyeing that fountain until it became her chance. It is fun. and we share time with one another.

Than Christmas morning, all are at their own homes, doing their own celebration, and we try to see some during the day. I always cook a Christmas dinner, and it depends who comes over for it. Each year is different.

I hope none of you get too frustrated by the Christmas chaos, and maybe just maybe you can put your feet up, put on a little relaxing Christmas music and enjoy the season. Love to all, Mrs justa.