Every year I try to simplify things and reduce the commercialism in our family Christmas. That’s because every year it seems to get worse. The stores are crowded, people spend money because they feel they have to, everyone seems anxious and stressed, and then it’s over. Until next year.
Christmas, when I was young, was about visiting family and friends, delicious baked goods and candy, homes full of cheer and love and excitement. This picture describes one of my fondest memories of past Christmases.
With grandchildren part of my family now, I really wanted to bring the special back to the holiday season. I started off with good intentions and actually made (with my own hands!) some presents this year, but am still running around buying things as the big day gets closer.
So why do we do it? The commercialized, overcomplicated part I mean. I’m sure my parents, with six children, spent money buying us each something special to go under the tree. And, I’m sure they felt the pinch financially in January. But it seemed worth it then, and not just because I was not paying the bills. The excitement built for months beforehand and lasted for months afterward.
Then there is the whole politically correct thing. Not saying “Merry Christmas” because it might offend someone. Have you ever heard of anyone actually being offended when strangers wish each other Merry Christmas? No one is forcing anyone to celebrate Christmas by wishing them a Merry Christmas. The greeting is simply to spread the joy and spirit of what Christmas is supposed to mean. To me having Christmas spirit means being kind(er) and (more) tolerant and generous towards others. It does (should) not matter what God you believe in or pray to, what color your skin is, where in the world you live, or how much money you have (spend).
If the Grinch can get it, why can’t we humans?