Friday, December 24, 2010
It's Christmas Eve. The fight against Christmas has been quieter this year than in the last few years. I always find it fascinating listening to the atheists etc. who try a act like the season is offensive simply because they don't believe in Christianity. The best part is knowing that they don't mind giving and receiving gifts.
I can't help but wonder: what are you doing with those gifts if you don't believe in Christmas? There's one thing I've wondered as I've looked at the Christmas season this year given the recession we're still stuck in, (despite the administration's insistence that we're on the road to recovery).
Given that fact that so many people have lost their jobs and thus have less money to spend, I wonder how many of those people have started looking at the Christmas season differently? Perhaps one positive of this recession will be in the fact that people begin to remember, or maybe even for the first time realize, what the Christmas season is really about.
We're not very used to severe recessions, think about it. The last really big recession before this one was in the 1970's. That's over 30 years ago. As we try our best to stretch our dollars as far as we can the Christmas season gives us a great opportunity to look at what Christmas means to each of us personally.
Do you feel guilty if you can't give as much this year as you perhaps have in the past?.....If you do then you need to rethink your own concept of the Christmas season. After all, would giving someone a dozen hand picked flowers really mean less than a dozen flowers bought at the store?
Let me give you a true story to ponder from my own past. When I was 17 I was living with a friend and his parents who didn't have much money, as I didn't. They were willing to take me in and I paid rent to them as much as I could but it was tough.
Christmas day came around so my friend and I came up with a plan. We each took $1 and wrapped it up to give to each other. All of us had a good laugh at that one and it didn't cost anything. To his parents I gave a heartfelt letter of appreciation thanking them for all they had done for me even though they had no obligation to.
As it turned out, that letter meant more to his parents than I ever expected it to. At the time I was a bit disappointed that it was pretty much all I could give. I was told by my friends father, (RIP), that his mother had taken that letter out unbeknown to me just to re-read it. He told me that the simple letter that I was rather disappointed in when I gave it meant more to her than any gift I could have given.
That's the kind of message we need to remember this Christmas. A simple letter or a long overdue phone call to a distant friend or relative can mean more than the most expensive of gifts.
Santa's bag may not be as full this year but does that minimize the heart of the season? Does it really make a family get together any less joyful? By not having as much money to spend you begin to appreciate that which doesn't cost much money a whole lot more.
So this Christmas take a minute to just relax and enjoy the season. If it's been a bad year for you, you've lost a job, there's been the death of a friend or family member, or perhaps it's just been a pretty rough year in general, take a minute to just relax. Ease yourself of the stress and just enjoy this Christmas. You have most of the year to drive yourself crazy over all of your problems. Give yourself a break for just a few days, (at least today and tomorrow). If it hasn't been a bad year for you then the message is just as, if not more, important for you.
Make sure your children know that Christmas isn't about toys and gifts. Get your children to realize that Christmas is about family. The Christmas exchange of presents is about feeling good giving a gift more than getting one. Those of you with young kids know that it's the smiles on their faces that put a smile on your face more than anything you've received.
It's not the money you've spent on Christmas that makes it special, it's the time you get to spend with family and friends that make it special. Make sure you take a minute to think of our troops who can't be home with their families this Christmas because they are abroad helping to protect ours. I'd like to give a special Merry Christmas and thank you to them. Now why are you still reading this blog? Turn off that computer and go spend some time with your families.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!