and I'm watching a church service on TV. It's the first mention of Jesus that I've heard in the past 3 months (since I first saw Christmas=related items being sold in stores). Christmas is SUPPOSED to be a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but in our church vs. state society, we rarely hear mention of the reason for the season.
Okay, so let's just (for a moment) accept Christmas on society's terms. "Caring and sharing" is the theme, right? Yet, it turns into a free-for-all for crap on sale (for 25% under the 75% mark-up), stressful purchasing of stuff that will end up on the closet, and worrying ("will s/he like it?" "did I spend enough?")
At the risk of sounding like a Grinch, I have to say - I really don't think this is what Christmas is supposed to be like, and I don't want to do this anymore. Christmas has become "consumerism" at it's finest. A way to keep the economy afloat at the risk of ourselves. We spend money on gifts that many of us need to be spending on bills, and many of us put gifts on credit cards, and pay for them all year long. Is this WWJD? I don't think so.
I wholeheartedly support "caring and sharing," "togetherness," and all of that. What is the point of life if you don't/can't/won't share with your loved ones? I don't support the notion that we have to go into debt and stress trying to buy gifts we can ill-afford to give. Our true loved ones will love us whether or not we buy them the latest and greatest gadget on the market. And those who get angry? Well, better to be rid of them than to pay the cost (plus interest) all year for some crap they didn't deserve in the first place.
This Christmas I urge you to really remember the "reason for the season." Enjoy your family and friends today, for tomorrow is not promised. Give gifts because you WANT to, not because you feel obligated, and remember that Christmas is just one day of a whole year in which you can give gifts/ show people how much you care for them.
I wish each and every one of you who reads this, a very Merry Christmas. I hope you are with someone you care about (even if you are alone), and that you realize that no matter how much or how little you have, if we pay close attention we will find that we all have exactly what we need. Think about that.
Peace and blessings.