I get it. I really do. People want to buy gifts, give, get gifts. Some much more one than the other, although we’re told it’s more blessed to give than to receive. We try so hard to get so much, do so much, squeeze every last ounce of joy we can get (some of it literally measured in ounces).
But how did we get to the point of madness known as Christmas shopping season? And why does it now last over two months? For some people, year ’round? The spectacle gets worse each year: people fighting, pushing, shoving, trampling, cutting off cars in traffic … not exactly the spirit we have in mind.
I can’t answer that. All I know is we’ve gone way off on a tangent, straying far from what the occasion is about. It’s a celebration of a birth. But it’s more: it’s a coming together of friends, family, a sharing, giving to total strangers. It’s an end-of-the-year catching up, renewing of bonds, sharing of rituals, a remembrance of those who’ve passed who once shared those occasions with us.
We do it, too. We go overboard with shopping, gift-buying, wrapping, eating, drinking. It’s all too commercial, too material.
But that’s not what’s important. To me, it’s the gathering, sharing, re-connecting. And it’s the giving to those who have less, whether they be family, friends, or someone completely unknown to us.
So, when you’re rushing around, maxing out the credit cards, trying to make everything “perfect” that will never be exactly perfect, slow down, step back, and try to remember what it’s all about. And spend some time visiting, talking, and listening to those around you. They are the gift of Christmas.