I don't know about you, but I am guilty of succumbing to Christmas mania. Organising the house for 5 of our overseas family members to not have to sleep on the cold, hard floor; planning and cooking for the 18 people we are expecting for Christmas Day and of course...all...that...shopping!
The shops seem to be packed to the rafters with copious amounts of amazing STUFF. STUFF my girls want and don't need, STUFF I want and don't need, well, maybe....no, I don't need. STUFF I think "Dude" would want to want if I ever got him to the shops. (He has shopping phobia. He gets all pale and glassy-eyed and breaks into a cold sweat when shopping is forced upon him.) Anyway all this stuff tempts the average female who is genetically hardwired to gather and therefore will usually gather a few extra items into the shopping bags - just in case.
Besides, I like the gift giving. It's my strongest love language (if you have ever read "The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman you will know what I'm talking about) and I like to get it right. This takes extra trips to the shopping centres where sadly, I have noticed, there is a distinct lack of Nativity scenes. I only came across two in the last 3 weeks as opposed to all those Santa's, that it appears are spaced roughly every 50 metres or so, as dictated by the "Union of Santa" clause.
The nativity, for me, is a lovely, gentle reminder, in the craziness of shopping obsession, that there is a reason for Christmas. Clearly. It's in the spelling. CHRIST mas.
This weekend, when I clear my head and become an intelligent, functioning, non shopping human being again (because all the presents are now bought, wrapped and under the tree), I can enjoy the real meaning of this season, family, friends, sharing food, hospitality, laughter, church and all the positive things Christmas brings...and then I will paint again.