Joy-Stealin’ Stupor-stores

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Ahhhh, the holidays…or is it AHHHHHHHHHHH NO!!!!! THE HOLIDAYS!!! “I refuse to be neurotic this year.” This is my mantra. I choose to focus on the real reason for the holidays. I won’t be participating in any Black Friday events as (and I’m pretty sure I’ll offend some here, but that’s ok, to truly know me is to love me.) I don’t believe those who focus on the sales are focused on the real reason. There. I said it. It’s out. Comment if you must. I know that you can save money and I know that there are amazing deals and I know that blah-be-dee-blah-blah-blah…People who throw elbows in stores are not the ones I choose to model myself after. I have made the choice to be as Christ-like as possible and those stomping on others’ knuckles and kicking old women’s dentures in to get to the last LOL Elmo scream anything but “Jesus” to me.

I used to think it was so cool to have a holiday that we just spent being thankful…we’d spend time with people we were related to, some even named Uncle Herman, whether we liked them or not. We’d eat after saying a prayer that expressed how grateful we were to have all the blessings we do (even Aunt Barbara’s carrot casserole–what is she thinking?! Every year??), and we’d hang out in the kitchen or the living room, depending on where your priorities lay, whether you liked to pick at leftovers or watch the game more. We would leave that home feeling closer to our families, sharing stories and updates with our immediate family about everyone we had talked with.

Family. That’s Thanksgiving to me. Not crammed aisles, carts running into your heels, mile-long checkout lanes with less-than-chipper shoppers, grouchy cashiers wearing reindeer antlers. Our focus was not on how much time was left before we were heading to that superstore to spend our year’s savings, or worse, loading a plastic card at 32% interest. There was no agenda as to how long, exactly, we had to spend discussing Aunt Edna’s cat, even though I’m sure there needs to be a set limit on that conversation. We just enjoyed…or at the very least, relaxed. We breathed. We inhaled, then exhaled. We took the moments as they came, whether it was watching a wrestling match break out between cousins or an impromptu song from 3-year-old Kaitlyn.

My point is: I refuse to let these “stupor-stores” steal my joy and my breath this holiday season. I will take the time to truly spend with my family and be in the moment. Time is a gift. I intend to show how thankful I am for it this year.

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