Christmas is coming

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 8, 2003

Can you believe just how close Christmas really is?

It’s amazing how time slips by so quickly. The month crept in and before you know it Christmas would have come and gone and we’ll all be sitting back waiting for a total on just how much it cost us.

As you know, the malls and shopping centers are filled to the brim with people trying to take care of all those special presents. Everybody’s got a sale – they say – so we find ourselves running from one store the other to get a look.

I have seen more people in the past few weeks shopping than I’ve seen all year. I’m just out there looking this year because I got a jump on things last year when it came to shopping. At least though, it gives me a chance to visit with some folks and share a few kind words.

The shopping frenzies has folks out early and all day trying to find that special gift. I don’t quite have that much energy, so I start out in the morning and after about three hours, I’m tired, so I head back to the house.

The new fads for the year will probably have parents running from one store to the other once again. The only thing is I haven’t heard a lot about any particular thing this year.

Of course, the electronic games are hot sellers once again, but there hasn’t’ been much talk about much else. I did hear a little talk about the Hokey Pokey Elmo or something like that and how they thought this would be a big item this year, but what’s hot, I’m not really sure.

A new bicycle is always hot, I guess. Thousands of kids ask Santa for a bike each Christmas and that will never grow old. The traditional Barbie doll is another thing that never get old and roller skates and toy trucks and cars get asked for by kids from one year to the next.

A couple of years ago the hot item was the scooter. Every child wanted a scooter and probably got one that sits in the garage or under the shed right now.

I found it interested just last week they were talking about the anniversary of the &uot;Cabbage Patch Doll&uot; and how popular they were at one time. Every kid had to have a Cabbage Patch Doll with it’s own adoption papers and just like everything else at the time, the prices were ridiculous.

This is the type of commercialization that ruins the holiday. The toy industry makes it all look so attractive and they stick a fancy price tag on it and parents find themselves forking up the cash to make the children happy for one day.

We all know what this holiday is about. Each year we tell ourselves we’re not going to overspend and buy a bunch of things we really don’t need and continuously we find ourselves spending more than we should and buying things that honestly are worth 10 cents or less.

The holiday brings with it a special time of year – a time of joy and peace – a time of happiness. People are jollier and happier traditionally during this time of year. They appear to be filled with a happy spirit and it’s not all about receiving presents.

If you can manage to battle your way through the shopping aisle and get just what you’ve been looking at for the past few weeks, you’ve done extremely well. Then when Christmas morning arrives and the children’s faces are beaming with joy, you know it was all-worthwhile.

We all have memories of when we were children and how excited we were the last few days before Christmas. We changed our Christmas list six times before Santa arrived, but he always seemed to bring just what we wanted. It was amazing how Santa knew everything you wanted all the time.

Christmas is for the children – without them it’s not the same. There is no more precious gift than watching the children on Christmas morning. That’s what it’s all about.

I was in a conversation recently with someone who was talking about Christmas of year’s past. We were sharing about how little we got compared to what children are getting now, but we were so appreciative of what we received. A shoebox with candy, apples and oranges and nuts was the highlight of the morning. I remember that good pink and white coconut candy we use to have hid away in the box and how we children would try to take our sister and brother’s piece of candy as well.

I remember the giant candy cane you looked forward to and remember the stockings pinned to the mantle. These were the good old days and what you got for Christmas wasn’t as important as Christmas Day itself.

It’s time we brought back some of the old traditions of Christmas and not continue to make millionaires out of those who sell these toys and games to our children.

It’s time for us to again gather around the Christmas tree for caroling. It’s time we popped popcorn and toasted marshmallows. It’s time we put the real spirit of the holiday back into the holiday.