I have a small confession to make...I have not been very joyful today. 'Tis the season to be jolly, but I was anything but. Sadly, I have waited until the last minute to finish my Christmas shopping this year. Life simply got in the way, and I never seemed to find the time to get it all done.
So, here I am on December 23 - scavenging the stores for those last minute gifts and stocking stuffers. The day began rather well, and I was actually feeling pretty good about my attitude. But, as the day went on - the crowd grew, and my attitude quickly changed. You see - shopping is always a chore for me. I'm not a shopper. Yes - I'm a woman, but shopping is just not my thing. If I could buy everything online, I would, but it's just not that easy sometimes. Secondly, I'm very claustrophobic - especially in crowds. So, what does NON SHOPPER + CROWD CLAUSTROPHOBIA + DECEMBER 23 SHOPPING equal? An almost MELTDOWN!!! Keep in mind, I said almost. Whenever I felt I was on the verge, I created a series of mental images of my family on Christmas morning opening their stockings and gifts in a warm home with plenty of food to eat. On the other side of that image was a starving and thirsting child in Africa that I could easily picture from my years of following the African hunger plight. This child will more than likely never experience anything remotely close to a Christmas morning experienced all over the developed world. Then, I was ashamed that I allowed myself to get all bent out of shape over having to shop on December 23 when I should feel privileged to even have the resources to begin with. With the meltdown quickly averted, I went about the little "chore" a bit longer. It wouldn't take long before those anxious feelings would creep back up, and then I would force those contrasting mental images to reappear. This went on all day long. But, you know what? It worked! I made it successfully through the day. I finished my shopping (minus one little item that I will go after early tomorrow morning). And besides...the shopping is certainly not what CHRISTmas is about anyway.