I admit I have dealt with my share of personal addictions throughout my adult life, principally smoking, a struggle that went on for 40 plus years. I enjoyed it. Never really wanted to quit, until compelled by the Holy Spirit who gently nudged me into a release from bondage and into a healthier lifestyle a little more than eight years ago. My perennial problem now seems to be with certain accoutrements embellishing the holiday season, e.g. wrapping paper and greeting cards.

Shocking and embarrassing, yes I admit it. No, I haven’t shared this in group therapy. I don’t know if there is a group to address this particular psychological urge. My family is aware of the situation. My wife, the designated intervention specialist, instinctively grabs onto my coat as we walk past the displays at Hallmark or Super Target, tugging me away from certain temptation.

For weeks the shelves and bins are full of paper rolls, stuffed full. Different lengths and widths. Metric and standard measurements. Cheap, easily torn paper and the expensive kind with lines on the inside so you know exactly where to cut; shiny foils, and some with sparkle in the designs. So attractive, it’s blatant Christmastime eye candy. And almost irresistible. Then there’s the greeting card isle. Box after box of gleaming, glittering options for expressing one’s best holiday wishes to anyone, or from anyone – even the cat. The scenes on the cards are so inviting. IMG_6191 2A comfy home all aglow in the gently falling evening snow, lamppost decorated with ivy and holly. Huge Christmas tree in the window, lit and adorned with treasured family ornaments. A happy snowman in the front yard, dressed up just like Frosty. The card’s message set in a fancy reflective gold metallic script.

Oh. Hand on my chest, I’m gasping, and a bit choked up. I’ll take a dozen boxes.

And each box usually has 12 to 18 cards with an appropriate number of envelopes plus one, because they know you’re going to mess up on at least one address. In reality, I don’t have more than a few friends and relatives to whom I might mail a card, even if I could actually settle on just one particular style. Probably why I haven’t sent any out for years.

The issue is even more disturbing when I confess that we already have enough wrap on hand at home to wallpaper the entire house inside and out at least a couple of times. We have grownup wrap, with designs both modern and old-fashioned, diagonal stripes and poinsettias rolling off ad infinitum. We have kid specific wrap with Jolly Old St. Nick and tree pattern stencils in every color, gingerbread men, candy canes and probably even sugar plums dancing off the sheet.

I must say that I have done relatively well so far this year. I did nab a couple rolls at the craft store a few days ago, my wife not being on hand for restraint. They were 60% off. Who could resist? Just need to get through the next few days, then we can pack up the hoard and forget about it until next August, when holiday decor gradually begins to emerge restocked in the retail world and we start all over again!

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