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My View: Keeping perspective during the holiday crush

By Nancy Eckerson

Here we are in the midst of the holiday rush … oops, I mean holiday celebration. That incredible time of year when we relish time with family and friends. The calling on our hearts to go the extra mile brings kindness and love to our co-workers, our friends and even to strangers on the street. It is a time of miracles, in oil or princely births, wonders and amazement.

The possibilities are endless for doing good at this time of year. And we spend a great deal of time and money on that endeavor. I can’t even imagine the money that is being spent on gifts and decorations, entertaining and cooking the fantastic holiday meals around the globe. Just sending cards alone has become an investment. With so much to do, how will we ever keep up?

By now I have developed a creeping sense of panic. How am I ever going to afford enough for each person? When do I think I have time to shop, much less wrap it all?

I am a person of modest means, and yet I have succumbed to the spending spree ideology that commercialism instills in us for the holiday season. I have been careful to leave the credit cards home, but still, I fear my debit card will melt if I keep up this pace.

This year I learned that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been extended to Dec. 24. This is the crucial time for businesses. They count on our holiday needs. I wish we could just go back to simpler times, when we didn’t have such high-priced demands. And all this “I wish I could do more” attitude sets us up for the next hit.

Nancy Eckerson.

The imminent infringement on our elevated spirits will be the annual call to review the past year. Here comes that glorious time when we can remember our mistakes, cling to our successes and make a plan as to what will be our 2019 New Year's resolutions. The stores are already overflowing with calendars for sale, reminding us that 2019 is upon us.

Like most, I am facing the new year in the deficit department from exhaustion, so my approach is more nearly like a desperate attempt to usher in some relief. I have discovered, during all this Christmas shopping, that I won’t be, can’t be, keeping up with the Joneses, and now I want to find a reason to feel good. I want to head into a new year with hope, and so I consider the past. And with all my heart, I find that, with a divine hand guiding me, I am grateful for the traumas I have endured, for the heartbreaks that have healed and the amazing way I have stretched a dollar until it cries “Uncle!” I have my eyesight, my hearing and I am upright and walking.

I have a list of amazing role models in history who may not have driven a Mercedes or carried a D&B purse, who perhaps lived in modest homes, rather than mansions, or had to walk a mile each day to get water to cook, drink or bathe. I think about their value, and I bow to them.

And, as if in answer to my plea, my morning devotional starts today with a quote from Booker T. Washington that puts it all in the proper perspective. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”

Nancy Eckerson, of Akron, is afraid of her debit card melting during holiday gift-buying.

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