Christmas is done for the year. We took our tree down, hauled it up to the attic and all the evidence of Christmas is gone, as if it never happened. We each left an ornament out to remember the changes we want to make this Christmas and throughout the next year, but in our house, that’s not really out of the ordinary.
What is out of the ordinary? Choosing to help others and live differently in a way that changes life as we know it. My kids really didn’t seem all that bothered by the lack of gifts they got from me. They still received the mandatory 27+ gifts from my mother, gifts they will never give a second thought to once they are put away. They were both on board with the plan of donating money to their favorite charities, but I just wasn’t so sure come Christmas, they would still feel that way. I was pleasantly surprised. Christmas evening, after the kids came home, we rented a few movies and enjoyed some time together. After all, I had not seen them for almost a week.
Yesterday we ventured into the stores, only for the purpose of grocery shopping and finding a small rug for my closet floor. No store was exempt from the typical long return lines and post-holiday sale events. Seriously, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
I decided yesterday to clean out my closet and get rid of the mountain of unused linens. Why do I feel the need to hang on to stuff that I will never use again? I made the compulsory closet purge, filled up the Infiniti sleigh and headed for the thrift store.
After unloading our surplus of worldly possessions, we went treasure hunting. No, not shopping, treasure hunting. Shopping is buying overpriced new ‘goods’ at large chain stores. Treasure hunting is finding something special, previously owned by someone else at a price that doesn’t break the bank. My kids quickly made their way to the toy section, disappointed that it was mostly baby toys. I headed for the crowded book area, my kids not far behind.
I found a Man Ray photography book for 50 cents, which in the bookstore, was probably closer to $50. Man Ray is one of my photography inspirations, mostly for photograms. My photogram ‘Coffee Addict’ is one of my favorites… not that I have coffee issues or anything like that.
Cole found a Star Wars picture book, which he kept directly in front of his face in the entire time we were there, miraculously not walking into anyone or anything.
As we were making our way toward the front of the store, I stopped to see if there were any jeans or sweatshirts for the boys. I guess everyone has been doing their Christmas purge, as the racks had three times the amount they usually do. I found this t-shirt that pretty much sums up what society is teaching our kids. “WARNING: allergic to lame gifts.” I wanted to buy the shirt just so I could destroy it and take it out of the clothing circulation. I would have saved the small candy cane skull icon though, as it seems appropriate to use as a symbol of our cultural Christmas consumerism. Continue reading