I'm not much of a shopper. There, I've confessed and I feel better. And at this time of year, shopping ranks right up there with a root canal in my hierarchy of things I don't much care for. However, it's necessary, so you might as well make the best of it. Kay and I recently spent a good bit of time at a large mall in Dallas, walking and shopping and people-watching. Some of the folks had the vacant look of a person who's totally overwhelmed by the moment, some looked as though they'd just been enrolled in the Mission Impossible team and were hurrying to complete the assignment, but a few of them seemed to be enjoying the experience. I'm hoping that these were the people who'd decided to look beyond the "have-to" of buying gifts to the pleasure that comes from doing something for others.
It's easy to get lost in the hurry of the season, and I'm as guilty as anyone. I have a rug that I put down at the entrance to my study every year at this time: "Bah, Humbug." But when all is said and done, I really do enjoy the tree (so long as I don't have to decorate it), the presents (so long as I don't have to buy and wrap them), and the family time (there's no disclaimer there).
In the stillness of the Judean night, when angels were announcing the birth of Jesus, the star over that sacred manger stood still. Let's do the same. Stand still, reflect, and give thanks.