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Surviving the Crowds at Christmas

We are lucky to live up here on the Northside of Houston. We have wonderful schools, nice neighborhoods, access to great dog parks, and an outlet mall. Whether it is malls, certain Swedish furniture stores, or outdoor festivals, large groups of people make me anxious, crabby, and impatient. When you combine two of my least favorite things – crowds and shopping – I tend to be the last person someone wants to be with.

I took on the outlet store challenge this weekend and completed my Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, my feelings were no different than what I have described earlier when I arrived. I was anxious, impatient, and wishing that everything would just be over. I surveyed the quickest entry and exit points. However, as I was waiting for the stores to open, I remembered a quote that someone had shared with me over the last several months:

“It’s not the events that shape my life that determine how I feel – but rather how I interpret and evaluate these experiences.”

It might seem a little hokey, but remembering this quote reminded me what a gift it was for me to have the opportunity to shop for people who are important in my life. My change in perception made Christmas shopping pleasant. I even stopped to have a sample of hot cocoa. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not suddenly converted into a shopaholic. Nor am I now a fan of large crowds. I did not focus on the perfect gift or the perfect deal. I reminded myself that I am lucky enough to have people to shop for. This change in perspective made what is usually a negative experience a meaningful event.

So, as all of you go out this week and the battle the masses for those last-minute gifts, hopefully you can take a second and remember who you are shopping for and why they are important in your life.

p.s. Next year, I really should upgrade to an Amazon Prime Membership (just in case)!

If you have any questions about Amy Wine Counseling Center and our therapeutic services feel free to call us at 832-421-8714 or contact us here.


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