The Christmas Season has become far less merry these days, and a lot more busy, crazy, insane and just plain tiring.

While standing in line at one of our beloved big-box retailers Sunday night, I saw the line was growing with the close to last-minute shoppers, and growing more and more impatient by the minute at the clerk offering every single customer in line the opportunity to sign up for a credit card.

While I will get to my point shortly, I have to go off on one tangent first. I, being one of those annoyed customers in line, believe that when a line is growing, and only two people are helping to cut it down, it’s not the best time to be offering a credit card. Take cash, debit card, or whatever credit card they want to give, and save yourself a lot of dirty looks.

Now, to the point. I realized just how busy we are no matter what anymore. Kids in soccer, dance, and of course, the first grade homework that we as parents feel like we are being graded on as well. Then, the holidays roll around and double the workload.

We want to make sure we buy as much as possible, decorate everything, make everything perfect, but do we really take the time to sit back and enjoy all of it?

I sat down later that evening, watching my husband and two daughters work on building a gingerbread train (yes, there are choices for everything today, no longer a need for just the gingerbread house). I watched as they smiled, they worked on the frosting, building the frame of the train and just relaxing at the kitchen table.

The gingerbread train cost $10, we bought it two weeks ago at Fry’s, and it ended up serving as a fun activity for the family to enjoy.

So, with only a few days left until Christmas, I decided it was time to stop stressing. If the kids don’t have one more toy, so be it. If I don’t have all the decorations in the house to make sure the image of merry is present, so be it.

Maybe it’s time to make some sugar cookies, decorate them with the kids, then, enjoy eating them with a cup of hot chocolate. After that, watch some Christmas classics that were recorded two weeks ago, but as a family, we still haven’t had time to sit down and watch.

The point is, we are all busy. In fact, we are always too busy. There needs to be a time of year where we sit and actually enjoy all that we have, all that we have been blessed with, and after Sunday, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores.

I will end this rant by saying I am truly becoming a fan of online shopping, and if part of my goal to relax continues into next year, I will be happy to enjoy that big glass of eggnog while clicking on the “complete order” button, with no one sighing in the back of the line, no store clerk offering me credit cards that I don’t need, and one less layer of stress to take home to the family to see.

I hope that all the Explorer readers have a nice, relaxing and Merry Christmas this holiday season, and stay safe as the New Year approaches.

— Thelma Grimes


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