It’s getting to be that time of the year again. The time of year when reasonably sane people lose all sense of power over their own mind and wallets. When they turn into people pushing , cart running over, that last item in the aisle is mine rabid 2 am Black Friday shoppers. Yep. It’s the holidays. I used to love the holidays. I used to love Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving because, it meant my Daddy was home, and he helped my mom make turkey and dressing. We watched the parade, and my sister and I ironed our clothes for our churches youth convention which was the day after Thanksgiving. Dinner was family gathered around the table , and then groaning on the sofa because you ate too much while watching television. After everyone napped for a couple of hours we went out in Daddy’s old pickup to look for the perfect Christmas tree. Daddy knew all the best places to look , so we got all bundled up , took the old chain saw and headed out . A cedar tree was usually perfect, , but a pine tree would work if you couldn’t find one. Short, tall , round , oval, we had to find the exact one that would fit in the space in the living room , and Daddy was patient always. Then we sawed down , and hauled home our perfect prize. To be decorated with popcorn strings, and paper rings. Homemade stars, an gingerbread men. Candies and shapes cut from last year’s Christmas cards. The big bulb primary colored lights, and of course loads and loads of tinsel. So Thanksgiving wasn’t about shopping ,and when Christmas rolled around it wasn’t about spending the most money on gifts either . It wasn’t about people’s personalities changing into these horrible troll like monsters with Wal mart buggies determined to run over anyone in their way. Christmas was getting new pajamas , and slippers. Receiving a warm sweater, and a cassette tape of Christmas music. Christmas was going to the elderly neighbors and giving them the gifts we had bought them , always handkercheifs for him , and leather gloves for her. He was a carpenter so he hand built us a wooden gift each year. A dollhouse, a wagon with blocks, a jewelry box, a checker set, wind up helicopters, boats, amazing things! His sweet wife always made some wonderfully tasty treat on her wood cooking stove, peanut brittle, fudge, chocolate chip cookies , divinity candy, all made to melt in your mouth. THAT was Christmas. Not all this shopping. Hurrying to and fro. A party every other weekend. So called “friends” inviting you to an event every night for the holidays. NO time for the family at all. I don’t want my children to remember Christmas by the gifts they received, but by the memories they made, and maybe, just maybe, the holidays will be their favorite time of year too.