Slice 15 of 365
This time of year is very stressful and I wonder all the time why we do it. I get the obvious reason being the birth of Christ for those of you who believe in it. I’m not even sure there was a real person named Jesus let alone the time of year he was supposedly born but that’s a completely different blog entry for another day if I ever have the energy.
What I mean is how we celebrate the peace and joy, the crass consumerism of the season. The undeniable pressures we put ourselves through to buy the perfect gift not to mention the financial hoops we jump through to get there. You shouldn’t need to go into debt to satisfy your loved ones.
Besides all the giving there is plenty of wanting to go along with it. “What do you want for Christmas?” is a common question during the season. I often feel that the large consumer nature of the season contributes to a selfish, spoiled society. And what are these things that we want?
We need more clothes or purses? We need more video games or electronics? We need little doodads and whatchamacallits that will probably break, get lost or end up in the trash? When and where does it end?
What is this teaching our children? Teaches them to be greedy, uncaring consumers who would rather get a bargain and get what they want rather than give back to society.
It reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin always calls his gifts loot and is always looking for angles to get more. And what do we do? We bribe our kids to be good with the promises of Santa and gifts.
Could you imagine if what you spent on gifts for your family and friends was given instead as gifts to food banks, homeless shelters etc. That’s much more in the spirit of the season no matter what religion you might be.
It shouldn’t just be this time of the year either, it should be all year. We need to think about each other much more especially in the small ways.
What would he do? I don’t think he’d be out on Black Friday standing in line at Wal-Mart waiting for a 50′ plasma TV or doing birthday shots at TGIF.
I have some small things for my kids and friends because it’s what society expects. My kids are old enough to understand and appreciate that giving back thinking now and would probably be in favor of my taking that money and donating it.
Maybe I should make this year my last official Christmas. This past month has also been very financially hard which makes the decision to skip Christmas even easier.
People want to put the Christ back in Christmas, and even though I’m an atheist and don’t believe that celebratory angle anyway, I think the only way to do that is to remove the mas(s) buying from the equation.
I may not believe the reason for the season but the sentiment behind it transcends all.