What’s Christmas Come To?

I was talking with a group of friends and one of them said, “I can’t wait for Christmas to be over.”  Another immediately agreed.  I asked why, and their reply was, “I’m spending to much money, I’m tired of shopping, and I’m stressed out.”

It’s sad that the Christmas we are accustomed to is about spending money (most of it going on credit cards) and stressing out about getting everyone what they want on their list or getting the right gift.  Christmas should be about spending time with loved ones, and relaxing from the hard work we did the past year.

Seriously do you really need anything?  Do the people on your list need anything?  If they don’t, are they going to die?  It’s unfortunate that we live in a culture where we are taught to spend money and give expensive gifts as a sign of our love.  Passing on the practice generation to generation.  What happened to baked goods as gifts? A painting, a picture, a poem, a dedicated day of spending time together?

This year I asked for nothing.  I looked around me and know I have everything I need.  Are there things I want? Of course!  I would like a vinyl record player, but I asked my family to save their money.  Will I be getting gifts, probably.  Will I be giving gifts?  Yes, I am looking forward to watching my son open his gifts on Christmas morning, though he has no idea why he is receiving them.

I wanted to be more creative this year and make gifts using the talents God has given me and my wife, but we let time slip by.  Next year, my goal is to make more gifts than purchased.  Really, I’m tired of spending money on things people do not need and probably fail to fully appreciate.

This year will probably be the last year I participate in Adopt-A-Family too.  The past 8 years I have purchased gifts for families that have sent a wish lists to Adopt-A-Family, and I’ve been very suprised at the gifts that people have been asking for.  Mainly children 8-16 years of age.  Playstations, iPods, Xbox, video games, etc.  Here are kids with parents that cannot afford gifts, but have roofs over their heads and food on the table asking for expensive gifts believing that Christmas is about receiving gifts.  Then we have eager well-wishers buying the items for these kids thinking they are doing a good deed “in the spirit of Christmas,” when all their doing is teaching the kids that Christmas is about receiving gifts. No more for me.  I can understand donating food, dinners, and time, but expensive gifts, no way.  There are families that are starving in our country that would be happy with just food.  There are seniors who miss companionship and lack the clothes they need to live.

Anyways…I’ve ranted on and on…I believe we all know the true meaning of the holidays, but are so used to spending and buying, that we don’t know how to change the habit.  Don’t get me started about the marketing ploys the media…

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I hope you aren’t stressed out and wish the holidays are long and lasting in your memories.

Shine On and much love

Jude

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