There are 365 days in a year. But save for the roughly two months designated as “The Holidays”, we are oblivious to the world around us. Children go hungry, unclothed, without education, without proper housing, and worst of all without love. Homeless people struggle to find meals. Veterans come home to empty houses. Food pantry’s go unstocked.
Come January, all the warm fuzzy feelings we got from giving to others suddenly turns into a ravenous self-obsession. We go from charitable neighbors to diet-crazed individuals on a mission.
The holidays bring with them stress, over-indulgence, greed, materialism, consumerism, and corporatism. We fight for the latest iPhone, agonize over what to get our loved ones, force ourselves into crowded shopping malls to listen to Here Comes Santa Claus for the thousandth time.
By the time it’s over we’re broken and spent, literally and figuratively. Whatever the “reason for the season”, it has been completely swallowed by our modern culture. People are driving around in their gas-guzzling SUV’s filled with Christmas presents and a magnet that says “Jesus is the reason for the season”.
Really? Jesus wouldn’t have been drinking egg nog and hanging out a ugly Christmas Sweater parties. His name wouldn’t have been in White Elephant drawings, nor would you find him feverishly wrapping presents beneath the Christmas tree.
No. He would have been loving people. He would have been giving of himself to the lowest of the low, just like he did the other 364 days of the year. Religion aside, Christmas has become a monstrosity.
Truth be told, my greatest Christmas memories don’t involve toys. Sure, it was beyond magical as a child to wake up to a living room filled with presents, but I can’t remember a single thing I opened.
What I remember was making cookies with my mom, playing with my brother in the snow, dressing up in Christmas outfits, decorating the tree, singing Christmas songs. I remember all the little things my mom did to make Christmas special for my brother and me.
So this year, I am asking for nothing. Not because I am socially superior, but because I don’t need anything else. I don’t need another box of soaps or perfumes, I don’t need a new camera, or a new pair of pajamas. I don’t need new running shoes or a new phone. I want those things.
Honestly, I could come up with an endless list of things to pass around to my loved ones, but why? I have boxes, bags and drawers full of things I needed. This year, I just want to spend time with my mom and step-dad. I want to talk to my family and bake cookies. I want to play in the yard with my dogs and watch a Christmas Carol with my mom.
If you planned on getting my anything, save your money. Save yourself the stress and just call me. Come have coffee at my house or invite me to the beach. Let’s spend time together. If you MUST spend money, donate to a charity on my behalf and tell me about it.
Let’s find the true meaning of Christmas. Because I can tell you it doesn’t come in wrapping paper.