Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Friday, November 18, 2011


We are planning on going down to visit with our daughter and her husband for Thanksgiving. Ought to be cozy, but fun. Since her and her husband both have to work on Black Friday, we decided to just go down for two days. Wednesday, we would just get things ready for Thanksgiving by last minute shopping, baking and chopping things up, and Thursday, we would do the big cooking and big eating. We would also play games and just enjoy family. Then, on Friday, whenever we got up and got going, we would leave to come home.

My daughter works four jobs at the moment (ya, I know...crazy!). She teaches and choreographs at two dance studios, is a photographer, and works part time at a clothing place in the mall. Figuring, she would be working at the clothing place AND at the photography studio, we knew Friday was going to be VERY busy. She just got her hours for next week, and guess what?! Well, the clothing place in the mall opens at midnight, so she works from 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving to 8 a.m. on Friday. Wow....what has Christmas become?

I think we have forgotten the main reason for the holidays. It is not a holiday tree...it is a Christmas Tree. It is not holiday vacation, or winter break, it is Christmas vacation. And...even though I like to give and receive CHRISTMAS (not holiday) gifts, do we really need to be breaking our necks to get to the store to get what seems to be bargains at midnight?  I don't think so! I use to get up to be at the store at 5 a.m., but have found it is just not worth it. Half the time, the things you are looking for are not there, because the store did not get many.  I much prefer my sleep, and go when the crowds are not so vicious.

We are in the midst of an economy crises. Part of the problem is that too many people spend way too much, especially times like Christmas. I have a friend that bought her 8 year old a $500 TV as ONE of his Christmas gifts. Now that is way overboard. We have a family of 6 (four children) and I don't think I even spend that much on all the kids combined. We have become a society of having; and we all have too much.

It is my hope that we remember what the holiday season is all about. It is about our Savior Jesus Christ. And if you do not choose to believe in Christ, then don't call this season what it is not. You can choose not to celebrate, but for those of us who want to celebrate, we need to step back and think about what we are doing. It needs to be simplified; Christ was a simple man. I don't see anything wrong with giving gifts and decorating, and even Santa, but when things get out of hand, as they have, we need to step back a bit.

So, this year, I plan to step back, simplify, and I think because I will be simplifying, our family might just have a better, happier time.  I encourage all of us to do the same. Then maybe one day, so many of us won't have to work these crazy hours and be able to spend time with much more important things, like the people who matter most in our lives. We might even be able to spend time with those who are in need. I bet the Savior would appreciate that a lot!

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