Hopefully everyone is exercised up, caught up on sleep, and ready to go out and shop Black Friday. I remember when Black Friday started in the wee hours of the morning on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Over the last few years shopping sales have started on Thanksgiving evening. I have observed more turnout with the evening sales. I admit I have been part of both -- yes, I am one of those people out there. I don't feel too bad because the stores are full so I take comfort in knowing I am not the only "crazy" person around.
It could be a lot of people just don't like to get up and out early on Friday and would rather stay up all night on Thursday and shop into Friday. Not being a morning person, I can understand it.
I have been there when I got the sale items I was looking for, and I have been there when I did not. I hear about fights on Black Friday shopping but honestly, I have never had any problems except for the long lines, lack of carts, or people grabbing all of the good sale items. I have met some really nice people in two hour check out lines.
At one time I looked forward to the shopping spree but as I get older, I do not get quite as excited about it.
I like to have my Christmas shopping 90 percent done by the Monday after Thanksgiving. Being that close gives me the option to go back or not and fight the crowds the month of December.
I broke my own rule of not putting up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving for the second consecutive year.
My husband has several doctor appointments in Little Rock coming up in the next few weeks and December is a busy time for me at work, so I decided to just throw caution to the wind and get it done.
For most of my adult life I have been a stickler for not putting up a tree or decorating before Thanksgiving. Now that I am a little older and don't get things done quite as quickly as I once did, I just can't wait until the last minute. Also, it is a good idea to get it done before the weather gets so cold.
As we older people say, "back in the day," when my children were young, I worked one night a week, sometimes all night. We gathered the news all week and on the day we put the paper together we usually worked 12 to 24 hours. I would come home on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to a twinkling decorated tree. Dale and the kids would have it all done and I loved it.
As I was looking for all of my boxes and trying to remember where I stored my "special" ornaments last year, I decided I have to get more organized. It is so much more fun putting the decorations up than taking it all down.
I got a little sentimental as I was decorating my tree. One ornament I always put on the tree is one my son made in kindergarten over 40 years ago. I have an ornament our daughter gave us when she was very young. I have special ornaments for each of grandchildren, ornaments our friends have given to us through the years, ornaments for my parents, and many more. Some people would think my tree was just a mess of mix matched ornaments. It may be, but when I look at it I think of the many special Christmases I have shared with my family.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I know it is commercialized and hectic, but I love the Christmas music, the tinsel, looking for gifts for the people I love, and being with family and friends.
Most importantly to me, Christmas is a time set aside to honor the birth of my Savior, Jesus. With all of the hustle and bustle, I never want to forget the reason for Christmas. Without Christ in Christmas, it would just be another holiday.
I know some people will disagree with me and they have the right because we do live in a free country, but I hope we always remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Just in case you don't know -- only 32 days left until Christmas.