The colored lights, they brightly shine!

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Hey folks!!  With Christmas right around the corner, my schedule has been jam packed!  I haven't been on here to post for about a week now and man, oh man...that makes me a sad panda!  The reason that I have been so uber busy is that I completely procrastinated on the whole shopping for Christmas presents thing!  Between work and rehearsal, I really haven't had much time to go shopping so I saved it all up for the busiest time of the season (5 Days before)!  I have spent the majority of the past two days in shopping malls, craft stores and grocery stores...blah!

When I originally planned out my "day of last minute Christmas shopping", I figured it would take me about 3 hours total to get everything I needed.  I had a very detailed list (I do love lists).  I knew exactly what stores I needed to go to and what items I needed to pick up in each store.  I had planned everything out so that I would spend a minimal amount of time in the stores and most of my time at home, making some of the gifts and wrapping everything.  The plan was perfect (or so I thought)!

Once I got out of the apartment and started shopping, I quickly realized that this was not going to be a nice little 3 hour shopping endeavor...I was going to be out ALL DAY!  The traffic was redonkulous and many of the drivers that I encountered were not so friendly.  The parking lots were jam packed and finding a parking spot anywhere semi-close the stores felt nearly impossible.  Once I finally got into the stores, it seemed as if there were more people in them than actual items for sale (that is clearly an exaggeration but holy guacamole these stores were full of people)!  By the time I got into store #2 on my list, my patience was being whoa!  With all of the traffic, crowds, lines and cranky people, I started to slowly break down.  And then it happened...I got SUPER CRANKY! I started acting like the other people in the store - rushing around, not using the best of manners, huffing and puffing a bit when people would cut in front of me...the situation was no bueno!  I let the crankiness get to me and I started acting like all of the people that I had encountered throughout the day.  Once I got home, I realized how much of a Scrooge I had been all day and instantly felt terrible!!  I lost track of what the holidays are all about and let the retail side of it consume me!

I am sharing this story because it is important to remember what the holidays are all about.  This time of the year we should be spending time with family and friends.  We should be enjoying each others company, eating, drinking and being merry.  It's not about the presents!  It's not about the material things that we give to each other every year, it is about the time we spend together laughing, reminiscing, singing Christmas songs and sharing recipes.  Yes, it is great to have some gifts to open and it does feel wonderful when you find someone the perfect gift and get to see the look on their face as they open it.  Those are some serious high points of the holidays but they are not the memories that really stick.  When you look back, you don't remember the "awesome gift" that you got each year.  You remember the funny and heart-warming memories that were made.  You remember the Christmas that the power went out and you all sat around the tree with the battery operated lights laughing and having a great time.  Or the Hanukkah that you forgot to pick up candles for the menorah and had to run out last minute to pick them up (or got a little improvisational in the situation and used something that you had around the house).  These funny stories are what that you think of when you look back on years past, not the gifts!

So don't let the stress get to you!  Don't worry too much about all of the running around to get the right gifts or picking up the last minute ingredients for your famous chocolate peanut butter fudge!!  Try to enjoy every minute and not turn into a grump-a-lump-a-gous because this lovely season only comes around once a year!  Rather than dread all of the stress and nuttiness that comes with the holidays...keep calm, take deep breaths and enjoy the time with the people that you love! 

Happy Holidays Everyone!! 

Lots of Love,

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