Somewhere on Staten Island, NY, post Sandy. ©DESIREE ARROYO
Every day, we go out and buy STUFF. It’s how we entertain ourselves— strolling the malls, poking around in clothing stores and home repair stores and home décor stores and grocery stores and book stores and craft stores and –well, I was going to say record stores, but that isn’t quite what they are anymore—and when push comes to shove, the dollar store or the corner market.
We shop. We acquire, we accumulate.
The stuff we own possesses us after a time.
We buy bigger houses with bonus rooms, or at least go rent a storage unit so we can keep all of our stuff. The stuff we buy attempts to announce our worth to the people who ring us out at the cash register, to the people who see us with it, and to the person we stare at in the mirror each morning while brushing our teeth.
We want MORE! Bigger, better, faster, cheaper. Stuff. THINGS.
I’ve written before about things. Actually for a while there I was writing about things, and getting rid of things ….but I digress. (because I have not succeeded; although I am more aware, I am not cured)
- Look around you.
- Take a look at that photo, above.
- How are you doing?
- Do you NEED anything more than the people you love surrounding you and laughter and memories made?
Remember, there are MANY who would be thrilled to have a home in which to have dinner this year.
Happy Thanksgiving. (And here, a smallish little rant-y kind of blog about shopping on this weekend from a few years back. Add to it Thanksgiving DAY shopping and those in food service. Remember, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. )
Everyone may not be aware, and so I just wanted to remind you that THIS YEAR, Christmas is on December 25th…. Yes, the 25th of December is CHRISTMAS this year, that comes directly after the 24th…
Really. It’s one of the last hold-out, non floating holidays …(Halloween having given up the gh0st in so many localities, we have New Years, the 4th of July and Christmas holding onto the outdated tradition of being celebrated ‘on the day’, so to speak.) Therefore, it will be held on a Sunday this time around.
Now, I realize it’s a sneaky little holiday—there are, after all, no signs stating such an event is on its way, nor advertisements alerting you; heck there aren’t even any special songs to remind you or anything, so I just wanted to provide this little PSA….
Black Friday. While I what I do, pardon me if I am less than enthused to be coming to work at O’Dark Thirty and keeping a on my face all the live long day, while you hold me personally responsible for being out of the widget de jour…especially, if while you are looking down your nose at the shop “help” you can’t stop texting or calling friends to complain about how utterly horrid your EXTRA DAY OFF has been because all the goodies you wanted were gone…because it isn’t my day off, and I won’t get an extra day off and I won’t open my check to find hazard pay on it, either!
See, the thing is, it isn’t even the WORKING—loads of people are working on holidays— in hospitals and airports , factories and newspapers, IT help desks and and and… But it’s just the same as any other work day, except they get holiday pay, or time and a half or triple time, or extra time off, and more than the just over minimum that is offered to seasonal retail workers.
It’s the tone of the people you are interacting with—who any other day may be polite and gentle, who may hold the door for someone, or let someone with only a few items get to the register before them. Who upon arrival at the parking lot begin to behave like hungry piranhas, refusing even to yield a gap in the driving lane to let a car out of a parking space , so sure that someone may be trying to beat them to the deal. The season of Peace and Joy, indeed.
Be alerted also that many, many people consider the 24th of December a holiday, too. Retail does not. Those elves busy filling your stockings at the register on December 24th are not being treated to a paid (or unpaid) holiday. They are scrambling to come up with something at the last minute, to fulfill orders not due till early January, to prove to the person you are trying to impress that you are, indeed, Santa.
The retail world thanks you.
About Turkey Day This links to a blog I wrote two years ago for Thanksgiving. There isn’t much I can add to it…
CHRISTMAS PHOTO A DAY…. Starting up again on DECEMBER FIRST… are you signed up to my photo blog? Do you want to receive these images daily to your email? Have you liked my Facebook page? Are you on the list and you want to be removed? (sniff ) (Contact me to be added or removed)
My photo website— ALL images are available for purchase, and make wonderful, unique and personal gifts.
This year, I have a selection of Christmas images for personalized Christmas cards!
My Etsy site— This year I have a few different little gifts available for sale.
What is left to say?
AND MAKE MEMORIES…!
Where, oh where has the year gone? It is Thanksgiving week here in the USA, and we all have much to be thankful for. Our world at large has suffered great natural disasters, but we gathered as one around computer screens and televisions to watch the Chilean miners get rescued.
We spent a year welcoming new people into our circle of family and friends, via marriage and births, we held the hands (virtually and in real life) of those who needed hand holding. We cried with and for those who life and love gave a bum hand.
Dad has given us a number of scares, but he is still with us this Thanksgiving, and for his obstinacy, we give thanks. (See, I come by it naturally. ) If you are looking to check in with him, try this.)
After months in rehab after back surgery, my mother-in-law is motoring along at twice the speed and half the pain, even if she is still using the walker, and this is a good thing!
We took a fantastic vacation that showed us how incredibly beautiful this country is, and can’t wait to do it again!
And if you were following the cat saga, it turns out Gandolf has diabetes. So the aggravation we had regarding his peeing has abated, and for some reason (of which I know not but choose not to question since we just re-carpeted the entire house) he has taken to using the bathroom floor or other non-porous surfaces when the litter box just won’t do. He is a good patient taking his oral medicine, and goes back on Friday to see what the next step is.
It’s the little things that we show our thanks for this season!
Rules to Live By:
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
It’s all small stuff.
Other small things.
- Buddha Badges.
- New carpet!
Guest room with new carpet and trundle bed. This bed (I LOVE Ikea) has three functioning drawers. When I buy the second mattress it will be like a queen bed!)
Bed is ready and waiting for you. We’ll leave the light on.
Cornflower blue in all the bedrooms, celadon green/tan in the living room and hall.
We chose this cedar color for the den.
One of my favorite essays, perfect for Thanksgiving.
- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s —
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.