Yesterday I was able to spend a couple of hours with one of my oldest and dearest friends. My friend, Susan, and I have been friends since first grade. I spent many days and nites at her house while growing up. Her house was a very laid back house. Her mom was my Girl Scout leader and was the kind of mom that was always sewing or cooking or doing something with her hands. She is still like that. Susan has her mother's genes in that department. I jokingly (well not really) tell her that she makes me feel inferior. If I was an insecure kind of person this would definitely not be a joke. Susan cooks things from scratch that you can't even imagine. Her house is immaculate. Her sense of decorating puts even Martha Stewart to shame. There is nothing my friend can't do. She is now making jewelry and, I have to tell you, the necklace she was wearing the other day was wonderful!! I told her she should open up an Etsy shop. She'd do very well. Thankfully, my Etsy shop doesn't sell jewelry 'cause she'd be some stiff competition!!
Yesterday, we got on the subject of Christmas and how we were dealing with shopping with less money this year. We both agreed that our kids were getting less "stuff" and we also agreed that there are still a lot of options out there when you don't have a lot of money to spend on someone. You can always buy something on the simple side and jazz it up a bit. The stuff you can find in dollar stores now is amazing, too. Susan also told me that last year she told her kids that Santa only brings one present to each child. All the rest are from she and her husband. Her exact words were, "I do all the work. Why should Santa get all the fucking credit?" I laughed so hard I almost peed in my pants!!!
My husband and I are only going to give each other one or two things this year. It's all about the kids. It's also, to me, all about those that are less fortunate. That is something that I have always emphasized to my boys. I tell them that we are all here on this earth to help each other out. No matter how small you think an act of kindness may be, you never know how it is going to affect someone. Even a smile during these tough times can help brighten someone's day. Jim and I went to Target in Spring Valley the other day. I looked around at peoples' faces. So many people look so sad and distraught and beyond stressed out. It truly breaks my heart. Then you hear about people trampling someone to death at Wal-Mart when they couldn't wait to get inside to Christmas shop. It's bad enough to read about that kind of stuff happening in other parts of the world but to read that it happened here makes me sick to my stomach. I can't even begin to imagine what other countries thought when they read about that.
Something has got to give in this country. Greed and instant gratification aren't working. The next time you're in a shopping mall or department store look around you. Look at peoples' faces. They tell the true story of what's going on in this world.
Many blessings ~ Wendy