December is in full Christmas mode, the stores are pumping Christmas carols out over the PA systems, decorations hang from ceiling and window display.
December is always such a hectic month, and yet it’s very important that during that hustle and bustle we don’t forget the important things in our lives.
Commercialism would have us believe that the most important thing that we can accomplish this month is to purchase the ultimate gifts for our loved ones, gifts that will wow them and of course the advertisers would have us believe that the more costly the gift, or the more in demand that gift is the better. Don’t disappoint your loved ones with a crappy gift that is sentimental and could actually mean more or become something special between the two of you. For your wives or girlfriends only a diamond will do. If you haven’t gotten her that rock yet, then how can she really know you love her at all?
Phones, game consoles, new tv’s and even cars are all on the list of those unforgettable gifts that will rock the world of your loved ones when they get them on December 25th.
The Christians are lamenting that there is a war on Christmas, and they would be correct. They cry about whether we say ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays’ but they never bat an eye at the crass commercialism that has invaded the birthday of their savior.
atheists still celebrate Christmas, and for them there really isn’t anything but the commercial side to Christmas, Santa opening his pack and handing out piles of brand name toys, designer labels and jewelry to all the girls and boys is really what this holiday season is all about.
Even the pagans get in on the commercial side of things, running around, trying to find that perfect gift that will show just how much you love someone. It’s a trap, television is filled with commercials telling us to buy, buy, buy. TV shows are filled with decor experts and professional shoppers and all of them are telling us how to decorate our homes for a small fortune, don’t even stop and think about how you’ll store that crap for next year, better yet just throw it away because come next Christmas they’ll be on the TV’s convincing us all that last years decorations are all passé and we need to go out and get all new ones, and it shall be that way year after year. Nostalgia and traditions be damned. We’ll never have that special bit of Christmas decor that will be handed down through the generations because it will be old and out of style and grandmothers will pass on those heirlooms just to have their grand kids toss them to the side in lieu of the ‘it’ item of that year.
Even our own children are victimized by the media commercialization machine, commercials that are geared to them putting the pressure on Mom, Dad and Santa to get them that perfect gift and they’ll just die if they don’t get it!
Love can only be expressed with dollar signs, and it’s nobody’s fault but our own. I have a friend that hates Christmas and it’s crass commercialism. He hates the hunt for that perfect gift. He resents running around and spending all that time and money on a gift for his children that he doesn’t even get the credit for because Santa is the one that delivers it.
I understand where he’s coming from, I don’t begrudge the Santa tradition, but I get that he puts all the time and his hard-earned money into a mountain of gifts and hopes that they are appreciated by those he gave them too. I to resent that feeling of needing to spend, spend, spend in order to have a happy holiday.
But, I do not give in to those feelings. I don’t allow myself to be brainwashed. For me the present are a nice way to say ‘thanks’ for all that you did for me this past year. You’re an awesome friend or family member. For me it’s about the message attached to the gift. Yes, I do go out and get the expensive gift, if it’s something that was specifically asked for. It is about making those people happy, after all.
But so you know that I am not a total hypocrite, I have included the things that I have told my family that I want this year when they ask me. Stitch place holders, crochet hooks, nail care items, a new hair brush, cook books and of course candles are the things that I really am hoping for the most, other than a new pair of shoes or boots, ones that I can slip on and off easily when I go to the gym. We went out window shopping and I actually forbid them from getting me anything too expensive. I don’t need the bank broken, just a few items that will add to the enjoyment of my coming year.
The thing that I get the most excited about at Christmas is spending time with my friends and family. I don’t get to hang with my friends that much anymore, now that we’re all older and have to find time between our own families, work and other commitments. But it is my hope that one year I’ll manage to get all the people I care about together during the holidays, play some games and share stories or our lives together.
For me Christmas isn’t about the packages wrapped in paper and string, it isn’t about the gifts under the tree, it isn’t about the tinsel, decorations or bows. For me Christmas means a little bit more. It’s about time, something that is more precious that anything that comes from a store. Time spent with those who make our lives fulfilling. Time spent with a child is worth more than any video game consul, or filling their rooms with toys galore.