Today my family and I made a special trip to Northpark Mall to let the kids see Santa Claus. Of course, just finding a parking space nearly resulted in loss of life for us. People are stark raving mad as they fight for spots.
As we went through Dillard’s, one lady brushed against my wife as she tried to squeeze through one of those crazy places where they put circular display tables in the narrow aisle. Of course, rather than saying “excuse me,” she grimaced at my wife and said rudely, “You’ve got a stroller in front of you, you know!”
Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year — yet, I think many people really don’t understand what the season is really all about.
I love getting to see the multicolored decorations that adorn homes, businesses, and shopping malls. I love hearing the Christmas music — on the radio, in stores, and especially as it is played live by an orchestra or brass band. I also love the food of the season, although I have to be careful with that one. . . too much of a good thing can be really bad!
As it turned out, the line for Santa was much too long. They were issuing numbers to parents and telling them to check back in a couple hours. As it turned out, our first party of the season demanded we return home before Santa would be available. I guess the kids will have to wait a few days.
So apart from the decorations, the music, and the food of Christmas, what are my favorite things?
- Time with my family. No matter what we do together, we always have a good time.
- Time with my friends. This one requires a little explanation, because the fact of the matter is that I don’t really have a whole lot of friends — you know, the people you really know. . . the ones you’d do absolutely anything for. . . the ones who you can just truly be yourself with. Most of these people live several states away, so the time I get with them is by phone. Still, it’s definitely time treasured.
- Time by myself. Maybe that sounds a bit selfish, but I’ve discovered through the years that it’s absolutely essential for me to have some “me” time. . . time when I can decompress from the stress of the day. . . time when I can be alone with God. . . time when I can read a book, take a walk, or take a nap. I always feel a bit more useful to others when I’ve had some solitude.
I can’t help but think that the crazy road-ragers in the mall parking lot — and the grouchy lady in the department store — might just be missing some of the blessings that I quite honestly take for granted much of the time. I’m incredibly blessed to have a good family, good friends, and sense enough to know when to have some “me” time.
Hopefully, no matter how busy or crazy life gets for you this holiday season, you’ll be able to count some blessings and enjoy some favorite things of your own.