My father has always said he enjoys going in the middle of holiday shoppers at least once each season to help put him in the Christmas spirit.
And I, too, once thoroughly enjoyed the crowds along with the sights and sounds of the season.
But I tolerate these hurried throngs of shoppers less and less with each passing holiday.
Why do stores feature 5,000 checkout lanes but choose to open only three?
Why do I hear about that hot, new toy for the grandkids a month after everyone else?
Why do we wrap gifts for infants? Don't tell me they like to tear the paper. I've seen who opens these toys.
And the number one burning question - Why do we create so much stress on what should be a joyous and stress-free experience?
Welcome to Christmas 2012 - where we're expected to buy like mad before we fall off some government-created cliff.
Nothing says Christmas like a gigantic economic crisis!
But spend we shall.
I applaud those who will work feverishly in the next month to provide holiday cheer for the less fortunate.
I was among those faithful for over 30 years with the newspaper Community Christmas Campaign.
It's easy to grow cynical when you put food and toys into the very same hands year after year.
So when my cynicism got the best of me, I called it quits.
That is a personal failing on my part. We are told not to judge.
But judge I did.
Poverty is present in our lives constantly. It is more visible perhaps during Christmas.
And even one honest day of charity is far better than none.
So between my frustration and judgmental attitude, I will still find a way to make someone's Christmas bright.
Sometimes the Christmas spirit trumps cynicism!