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Christmas Giving

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I got my Christmas spirits mixed up this year.

No, I didn’t screw up while I was making a cocktail; what I did was latch onto the marketing spirit that takes advantage of Christmas and let it drain some of the pleasure out of my holiday preparations.

I don’t love shopping at the best of times but I do enjoy giving people I care about things they will appreciate.

With that in mind, I set off one day last week with a well thought out list of potential Christmas gift purchases and a definite plan for where to make them.

When I got to the shopping area near where I live in England, however, things began to fall apart.

There was lots of hype and there were too many people and as far as I could tell most of the shoppers seemed to be on a mission – as I’m afraid I was – and it started to get me down.

I mean Christmas should be a time of joy and good will but all I saw were frowns and occasional looks of relief when another gift was ticked off the list.

I suspect the noisy, crowded conditions affected what I saw, but I was very glad to get out of there.

My grumpy mood could have set in for the season, but fortunately I went shopping again the next day.

I just needed some food but it was a serious shop. I had a voucher for the equivalent of P45 off if I spent P450 in one go, so that’s what I decided to do.

I added up the items in my head as they went into my trolley but when I got to the checkout the total only came to P440 so I raced off to get some eggs so I could use the voucher.

That’s when something went pop in my left knee. It hurt and for a while it didn’t want to move.

I had walked to the store and I was a long way from home so suddenly I had a real problem.

As it turned out, whatever I did was not serious and I was able to carry my shopping home after a short rest and I think the incident turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I’d been giving too much thought to all the commercial crap that I see tied to Christmas these days, but just because it is there doesn’t mean we have to buy into it or let it get us down.

We all have many good things in our lives that we often take for granted. In my case it was my health; in particular my left knee.

As I’ve said I don’t like shopping but because my body still works I can walk to most of the stores so I get a bit of exercise when I shop, and I quite like that.

But the point of all this is that quite often the most important things we take for granted are the special people we have in our lives. That’s why the Christmas spirit is such a good thing.

This is the time to appreciate the good things in our lives, including the people, and maybe even buy them gifts… but it really is the appreciation that counts.

Happy holidays.