Over 40 years ago, my main Christmas gift was a stuffed bear, it seemed giant-size at the time. Last week I was rummaging through my old treasures that I couldn’t live without, and saw the bear sitting atop a shelf in my closet. His fur was stiff and his dark marbled eyes were tucked back in his head, covered partially by fluff. I vividly remember waking up and running into the living room to see Santa’s gift, I was ecstatic! I grabbed the bear, squeezing and cuddling, it was almost as big as me.
Gifts at Christmas used to mean so much more, the colorfully wrapped sentiments have lost their value and have become an expectation. I would get one or two gifts under the tree, and they were special. I bought my children several presents when they were younger and unless the goody was coveted, they often lost interest in a short period of time. I was guilty of materialism during the holiday.
My family would gather for a meal, games, laughter and reminiscing, the air was light and Christmas music twinkled softly in the background. Although the traditions still aspire, I see it all over the world, the events often take on the theme of a “party” – alcohol abuse, arguing, judging… and don’t leave first or you may be the topic of gossip.
Not every family experiences the doldrums of the holidays, but for some, the holiday season is a nightmare. (Note: I’ve noticed we now have a “Holiday Season”, not Christmas.) Stores can barely contain themselves and they wait, biting nails, to put out their big displays and sale ads. The overall dollars are tracked to see which year had the best sales volume. People spend their paychecks and then dread January when the credit card bills roll in.
Quality non-profit organizations help less fortunate families obtain gifts and provide a wonderful service to the community, I have donated several times. Although I see the purpose, I wonder if the true meaning of Christmas is conveyed with the exchange.
Even though I may sound like a negative-Nellie, it is not the purpose of my post. I encourage everyone to engage in thoughtful presentations of sentiments to everyone you meet, now, and always. The “holidays” can be wonderful and joyous, and painful and devastating; you may find yourself with either perspective depending on your current situation. We know the happiness and the sorrow… we see and feel it. This year, make it a goal to do something about it. Focus on making a difference in someone’s life, help make it better… just one person, pick anyone. Pay it forward…
I intentionally left out the meaning of “Christmas” because I’m honestly not sure what it stands for anymore. The following site explained it to me, granting me a better understanding of the world-wide participation.
Thank you for joining me and reading my post, I know it is one of many…
Peace and Joy,