I’m trying really hard not to turn this Christmas into yet another McChristmas. A quick shopping trip the day after Turkey, to the stores at the crack of midnight [which I missed again this year – I slept in] just to buy as much as I possibly can in as little amount of time as possibly can. I do love shopping as much as the next woman, but it’s really getting to be more than I can handle at this point. Then look on the kids faces when they didn’t get exactly what they wanted under the tree or as much as they thought they should have. Is this really “Christmas?”

My sister-in-law told me that her grown children actually counted the gifts under the tree to make sure they all had gotten the same amount. Now, I thought the entire point of a gift was to give something from the heart. Where did I go wrong in my thinking?

An old friend, Maxine Morris, many years ago, told me that when she was a very young girl, that Christmas was an apple, an orange and a stick of penny candy in a stocking. And she was thrilled for it. Try that today in our McChristmas world.

I’m not really complaining, as much as, I’m just thinking out loud.  I’m trying to rationalize my way of spending at Christmas.  This year, like every year past, my husband has vowed we are cutting our holiday spending way down. Maybe one or two gifts per person.  And really we should. There is no real reason to buy presents just to see packages climbing the walls, as it was in our youth. The economy isn’t even the real reason, it plays a part, but it just isn’t practical. How much stuff does one person need?

I know we don’t need anything really, and if our kids need something, they just run out and pick it up. So aren’t we all just getting a little crazy over an event that takes a few minutes to unwrap and in a day or two they won’t even remember what they got?

Example: Two years ago, I bought Steven an 60Gig IPod it was stolen at his school the very next day @ wresting practice.  Yes, just a few bucks short of a felony. Now you know, when some kid brought that home, there was no way his parents thought he got a new $498 IPod as an exchange gift.  But like I told my son, it’s just a thing… you got along without it… before you had it. Hopefully next time, he’ll be more aware of his surroundings and just not trust anybody[Doubtful, since he lost or had something stolen weekly]. I guess, some kid at his school was a kleptomaniac. I blame the parents.

Anyway, I don’t plan on giving anyone a gift this year, that will cause someone to loose their soul over. Nothing coveted here. Just a handful of little trinkets, not to tell them that I love them and cherish them, but just a little something to put a smile on their face. I’m still making my list and checking it twice. They have all been a blessing to me and I hope to be a blessing to them.

If you want to give ME a gift this year, I would consider it a huge blessing, if you help me – help others with these query’s: Virginia history Pennsylvania county Morris; what is the Scottish clan name for the surname Caswell?, Adkins genealogy, Blue Sky – Chief Cornstalks daughter, Quakers + “Simon Metcalf”, ancestry of John Montgomery b. 1779 KY, John Franklin Reed family history. If you have any information – no matter how small, please do share it. Thank you in advance.

A rose only becomes beautiful and blesses others when it opens up and blooms. Its greatest tragedy is to stay in a tightly-closed bud, never fulfilling its potential. ~ DALE GALLOWAY