I’ve always had fond memories of Christmas as a kid especially, growing up in New York and enjoying sledding and skiing, etc. And sitting by the fire with family, visiting my grandmother in N.J. and taking brisk walks along the beach. And let’s not forget great Christmas classics like Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the red nose reindeer, etc. I also remember the delicious food and plum pudding, other desserts that aren’t as plentiful the rest of the year (Thankful for that intervention, LOL) Yes, the presents were nice, and fun, but there was a nice balance there. It wasn’t so overbearing with Christmas shopping and scrambling for this and for that, and everyone being so sick of the bloody holidays before they have even come.
I looked at a few old photos yesterday in some old childhood photo albums, and realized that most of the people in the photos are gone. The memories and photos remain. Really it wasn’t all THAT long ago, but my have peoples’ priorities changed when it comes to Christmas. Such a great pressure is placed on society by corporate marketing strategies like black Friday and cyber Monday, crap like that. People are scrambling to get this gift and that gift, and sometimes gifts out of obligation because of who is hosting or attending Christmas. Let’s not forget getting mauled down by a bunch of troglodytes at the major retailers that are trying to crush the small business and the average working class person. Even if I am married with kids, I can make that decision not to take part in that. And to shop based on household budget and support as many small retailers as possible. It’s the aggression that comes with the retailer advertising, and people going into debt to make an impact at Christmas are what is ruining Christmas as we know it.
Whether Christmas is primarily a religious holiday to you, a gift giving jolly time, or time to chill with friends and family, it’s important to remember it’s not a jolly time for everyone. Those who have experienced a job loss or financial trouble and can’t live up to the commercial hype, divorce or death in the family, etc. may be having a tough time. One thing that’s more important than gifts and cookies, decorations, etc. is being there for those people and offering them hope and love. It’s a travesty for me to see people so engulfed in the holiday hustle bustle shopping, decorating, baking, cleaning the house to impress guests, etc. that they miss what’s going on right under their nose! The most important thing we can do is visit with friends and family, and to give of ourselves to those we care about…..and let them open up to us. You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. Tomorrow isn’t promised. That game of Scrabble you play with a loved one may be the last time you see them. My hope for you is to not be a sheep, but to be an anchor. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you!!