It's the night before Christmas Eve and not a creature is stirring...not even a mouse...though I hope I don't have mice! My dog Cocoa is crashed soundly in his bed after suffering through a much needed bath, a combing and then his "special" treat for putting up with all that whole ordeal. My daughter, who just arrived home from driving in from her apartment in Chicago, rushed in, gave me a quick kiss and hug, changed her clothes and zoomed out the door to meet friends who were also home visiting their families for the holidays. Such is the empty nest life I guess. So here I sit...alone with my dog and cat, listening to Christmas carols and wrapping a few gifts.
I started out fully engaged in this gift wrapping extravaganza until I decided that I needed some photos for this blog, being a "past life" graphic designer, I know these things are way more enticing if there are some photos to draw visual interest of the reader. That's when I got diverted!...and MUCH more interested in playing with my iphone camera — using some of the cool photo apps that I don't always get to play with as much as I would like to. Off I went, the artist in me at play...the next thing I knew an hour had gone by and no gifts were wrapped! I did get these photos from Hipstamatic that I liked the gritty edge filter and the film that I was playing with though. As you can see, I have candles burning to go with my Christmas music wrapping mode.
As I am contemplating the stack of naked gifts yet to be wrapped, I am reminded of the "upscale" client of my mother's that allowed me to spend 3 days at her house wrapping Christmas presents one year in high school for a pretty good income! Her whole living room was stacked high with extravagant gifts and I got paid well to wrap them and make them look gorgeous. They made my little grouping of gifts for my daughter and other family members dwarf in comparison to volume and expense. But, Christmas is not about the commercialism that our economy tries to dazzle us with...it's about love, grace, and a miracle!
As far as miracles go...I am hoping one comes my way and helps me get these gifts wrapped! I could use some help myself right about now. If you are crashing and burning yourself trying to get last minute shopping done and all the gifts wrapped in time, consider "downsizing Christmas" and focusing on the love and intention behind each gift and not on the volume of the gifts. Take a minute to reflect on the true meaning of this season and don't let the "advertising group" convince you that you have to buy, buy, buy. Simplify your holiday season and lower your stress. Take it from an artist who was an art director for 25 years, it is all about creating "want" in the consumer, no matter how unneeded the item is!
Have a safe, happy and blessed Christmas! If you do take time to ponder the real meaning of this holiday season or you decide to actually "downsize" it this year...I would be interested in hearing what your thoughts and/or actions were with this. I really am curious.
Blessings and Love,