Tuesday, December 05, 2017

What is Christmas All About?

This is the time of the year that we hear people shopping for crap they can't afford, to give to people who won't remember who gave them what by Easter, utter the phrase "I just want them to have a good Christmas." What they are saying is that the measure of a "good Christmas" is the pile of material possessions you receive.  The implication is that a person who does not receive a big pile of stuff, cannot have a good Christmas.  The concentration on material possessions worries me. 

One of the underlying themes of Christmas, is sharing of the gift of happiness, and a better life.  I am not a practicing christian, but think about god sending his son to save mankind.  Not exactly a material gift there. God didn't send everyone a camel and two oxen, he sent them a gift of enlightenment and forgiveness. The value was in the message.  Not exactly things you need Visa, Master Card, American Express or piles of gold to pay for.  

Let me propose that a person can have a "good Christmas" without receiving a pile of expensive gifts.  Most of us value human interaction and connection - more than toys and trinkets. I don't expect most to us to the have the wisdom of a savior, but on Christmas day, turn off the TV, shut down the WiFi, gather together and cook a hearty meal, sharing what you have, spend real time together, pay attention to those you love. Give them the gift of your time.  A modest symbolic gift to remind one another of your of your time together may be treasured. But the greatest gift would be the experience of quality time together. Christmas is not about who spent the most, or who scored the most (I wouldn't be surprised if someone has an app to calculate the value of what you receive - kind of a game of one-ups-man-ship.)  Is scoring material possessions the real message of Christmas? 

What do I want for Christmas? Love, respect, peace, laughter, good health, and time with family and friends. As for sharing my material possessions, I am always generous with my sweet bear, beyond that I make gifts (donations) to benefit those who have difficulty meeting basic needs, those who are trying to better their lives, and preservation of places I find of great value.  (Charity, education and historic preservation.)  Things that I hold dear.  

What do you want for Christmas this year? 


  1. Yes, our family gives donations to charity in each others' names. I have just sent cards to my son and daughter in law from Oxfam and Unicef, representing our donations to a couple of causes we hold dear.

  2. nothing material; I have everything I need.

  3. Just relaxing celebrating the beauty with family and friends.