I sometimes feel old-fashioned, but I genuinely believe that Christmas – and all the holiday season, no matter how you celebrate – has gotten out of hand.
Didn’t it used to be about giving, caring for others who are less fortunate, and loving our families? Or did that get lost in translation somewhere in time?
These days, there’s so much pressure to spend, spend, spend. Our kids all want the latest gadgets. We seem to never be able to keep up with fashion. We’re told our Christmas decorations are “outdated” and our Christmas dinners are not flamboyant enough.
It all feels a bit crazy.
So I’m suggesting it’s time we families fought back. It’s time communities fought back. There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts to our loved ones, but there’s a thing called moderation that society seems to have forgotten.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a festive meal either, but there’s this old-fashioned sin called gluttony that does nobody any favours.
It’s time to take a step back, and remember what Christmas is all about.
Giving without thought for ourselves
I remember a scene from the wonderful classic children’s book, Little Women, in which the March girls give their Christmas breakfast to a hungry family. The girls were not wealthy by today’s standards, but they gave generously and were better people because of it.
It was a scene that made an impact on me, because I’ve never done anything so generous myself. Perhaps I need to. Perhaps we all do.
Christmas is a time to give. It’s time to remember those who have nothing. It is a time to honour friendships and family, to make amends with those we have wronged, and to create peace in our communities.
So when you plan your gift list, plan your giving list too. If you don’t have time, give money or in kind. If money is tight, plan to give time. If neither is an option, offer simple, random acts of kindness that will impact the lives of others in small, but significant ways.
Make a difference to someone you don’t know this Christmas. Make life better for a stranger. Make life beautiful for a child in need, or for a family without comfort.
Is it too early to say it?: Have a happy Christmas.