Saturday, December 06, 2008

"Tis The Season To Be Jolly"

If you listen to the news, it doesn't seem like a season to be jolly at all. Unemployment rates so high. More and more companies laying off people. Folks loosing their homes at alarming rates and fear, fear of the future all around the world. When I went to the Doctors the other day, my Doctor was asking me about what I thought about the world conditions. He is normally one of the most up-beat people I know, but he was almost depressed about the current state of affairs.
There are so many folks worried about how their children will react when they don't get the usual amount of Christmas gifts and the Santa's in the store all say they are hearing from the little children, that they have heard to just ask for less this year. Folks are making more presents, hand crafts are on the rise which to me is a great thing. I think Christmas is way out of control when it comes to gift giving. Folks all stressed out about shopping for someone and they finally cave in a get a gift card because either the person they are buying for, A) has everything, or B) they don't know them well enough to know what to get them. There are probably more reasons but lets just leave it at those two for now.
Its hard to swim against the current though and just give a token gift when you are giving it to someone who talks about how cheap people are or brags about how much they spend each year. Makes you feel small, no matter how committed you are to not getting caught up in the wrong spirit of Christmas. After all we are celebrating the birth of an extremely humble and unassuming man that came to free us from building treasures on earth. Yeah, I know that its not the time of his actual birth and that we are dipping paganism in a covering of Christianity to make it work for everyone by celebrating the birth of Jesus in December. But to be honest, if someone got my birthday wrong and gave me a gift in May, I would be o.k. with it. But wait, what gift are we giving Jesus by the way we celebrate ? How about we sit back for a minute and think about dumping the stress of the holiday season and all the rushing around, and replace all that with compassion and love, forgetting about anything other than giving gifts that represent that wonderful love we read about in the example of Jesus life. How about we mend broken fences with family at this time. How about we give forgiveness as a gift to those who we resent having to buy for. How about we give time to another, wrap it up as a gift to give of ourselves by helping out in some way. How about we give one another the things we need to give, rather than giving a gift, knowing it will get a "wow" from all the onlookers when its opened. Giving so you can brag or be admired for how much you spent is just not in the spirit of the holiday. Maybe we have forgotten what the real spirit of the holiday is.
I love this photo of my families Christmas in 1944. Its pure. Its simple and somehow my grandfather thought it so beautiful he had to capture it on film. Ladies stockings hanging off the mantle, packages wrapped in white tissue paper and honestly there are not many of them under the tree considering how many were in the family. Even the tree is simple, not a Martha Stewart type tree. No theme, no color co-ordination. Just a simple tree, bare by what we all seem to put up now.
Tis the season to be jolly, so lets seek what is real and lasting this Christmas and we might just find that amid all the woes of the world, what is within us, the ability to love and be loved, is the greatest gift given and received !

5 comments:

Angelena said...

What a wonderful post.

Mrs. B, a very peculiar person said...

So very well stated. You truely have a poetic gift for words.

Mrs. B

Dawn said...

All of our gifts will wrapped in tissue paper this year. Last year at the PX in Germany, all their stuff was 50%-75% off and I knew that wrapping paper would be awkward for the movers to pack, I decided to just buy all the tissue paper and use that this year...so that's what we are doing. :-) I might even use the Sunday comics on a few of my hubby's gifts. :-)

Julze said...

I totally agree. May the Lord reign in our hearts and not the things of this world!

Williams Arena said...

I love the ladies stockings.