Man it's crazy in the stores. I went with the kids Thursday shopping (Thursday stores are always open later) and people were crazy in the mall. One lady came by with her cart in the Warehouse and nearly knocked Lucan over, so aggressive was she. I was both proud that I was staying out of (that level of) the frenzy, but also seriously disturbed that society has gotten so out of control. Creating piles of crap is the last thing we should be doing, but there were mountains of things, toys that were going to last five minutes, pink frilly packages containing bottles of toiletry items, every kind of item that could be dreamed up. But look into people's faces, and they looked stressed, it was difficult keeping up the level of expectation that we have in our society. They did not look happy. I compared it mentally to the innocent activities of the past, such as riding on horse-drawn sleighs with bells on them and laughing.
I am still really enjoying the gift-making theme. One thing our family seriously loves doing is making things. Christmas my entire life has always involved late nights, using gifts as an excuse to create something, or paint something. Making things involves alot of energy and motivation and bravery to use your skills, especially with artistic endeavours-- when I was making something for someone I loved, this helped me to do it at all. Also, I had a supportive reception. Anyways, also loving buying proper materials and tools, it's not all spartan. I used Christmas as an excuse to buy well made scissors. We've been using a piece of crap for years.