I was one of the one million people in the Milwaukee metro area that was doing their shopping tonight. WOW, is all I can say. Sheer madness on the streets of WI. Despite scaling our Husband/Wife dollar amount to $50, I covered a lot of ground, and the whole thing took me four hours. I was frazzled by the time I got home and I have to believe that this is NOT what the season is supposed to be about.
The whole experience made me appreciate my wife's role in doing the shopping for the rest of the family. She does four times what I did and all the while keeps a sanity about her. Well, most of the time anyway.
This Christmas has taken on a new meaning for everyone in my immediate and extended family. With all that's going on with Rob, everything has been shaken into it's proper place. Worry about the economy, world affairs and politics has taken a back seat along with everything else to the importance and family. I've enjoyed being with my wife and kids more than I ever have. I've connected with Rob every day for the past two weeks, and my prayer life has taken on a new vibrancy (and urgency).
It's sad that it takes a shot to the head like we've had to bring a person or family back to center, but I'm going to try and learn from it and carry it through into the future.
And so with the meaning of Christmas more clearly defined than ever, I'll make the best of it. The birth of Jesus was more about the gift God gave us than any gift we'll give or get from anyone here on earth. I plan to run with that philosophy for the next while.
May God bless you and your family this Christmas season. Hug your spouse and kids. Tell them you love them. Put your differences with your extended family aside for a bit and just enjoy their company. They are all you have and that's a gift from God.