Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Thoughts

We are entering a time of year that, according to what we are told, should be a time of joy, love, celebration and quiet peace with reflection. What is it really like for most people?  Stress, fatigue, feelings of low self worth, and many other negative notions.

I'll admit to having been victim to the stranglehold of commercialism that runs rampant in our world, but over the last several years that has been changing.   Enter today's post with a few confessions. 

First, I don't do cards. Now, let me step back and say that sometimes I do send cards because I wish to connect in a way that leaves tangible words that can literally be held in both the recipients hands and heart. But, really, think about it. I honestly have no desire to send or receive cards from people I do not connect with at any other time of the year. The argument may present as "I send cards to update people about my world" or "it's nice to be remembered with a card" or the ever popular "I don't have any other way of keeping up with people".  

I would challenge each of those statements with one comment, you keep up with those you really care about. You pick up the phone, you Facebook, you text, Twitter, or Instagram....or, better yet you take time out of your perceived busy day to actually go see them. I'm sorry but names hastily written in a cheesy card is not communication. Nor is the ridiculous "family letter."  Here is where there are a couple of caveats, I love love love cards from my sister because she always picks the most beautiful and glittery ones and there are a few letters I look forward to because they are better reading than any TV sitcom or reality show...they really provide a glimpse into the unreal. 

Let's talk about gift giving for a minute now.  I'm not a good gift receiver. But, I think I'm a good gift giver. When my boys were young, I stood steadfast to the idea that if three gifts were appropriate for One, then why should my children be different. They never lacked for gifts, however those were not what it's all about.   I have to include a confession that my gift receiving difficulty likely stems from some  unfortunate repetitive circumstances that may have left me a tad bit jaded. For example, nothing says I love you and I pay attention to what you say when you are asked what you would like for Christmas and you show the individual the one and only thing you would really like to have (which was in the store they worked at) and then receive a $50 bill wrapped up in one of your textbooks because they were too busy to go down that aisle. Or, when you receive jewelry every year because it's easy to stop in the store in the mall and grab something...sounds sorta good until you receive the exact same pair of earrings two years in a row. Tip of the iceberg, but you get the point. 

I love buying gifts for people I care about. Just not necessarily for one specific day of the year.  Do we really even need to talk about the excessive nature and commercialism??? I see it all month long in December, year after year and it is sad.   I can count on my hands (actually one hand) the number of store bought gifts that my children have given me for my birthday or Christmas, and while some parents may get their nose out of joint about this and throw guilt trips back at them, it does NOT bother me. My boys are my gift from above. Time spent with them in person, by phone, by text or Skype is more precious to me than anything found anywhere on earth.  Do others feel the same, nope and it's their loss. 

These are a couple of points that gnaw at my heart. It seems only fitting to air them on the first day of December as a, maybe not so gentle, reminder that regardless of what "holiday" you celebrate, remember what the REAL reason is and embrace that throughout the year, not just when standing in line on Black Friday or fretting about what to get that hard to buy for individual. I dare you to not give anything, but instead give them what humans crave the most...the gift of love from your heart that is freely and openly given to everyone. 

I triple dog dare you. 


1 comment:

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the excessive commercialization of the holidays. Nothing stresses me out more than going into an overcrowded mall or shopping center. That is why I stopped doing it a few years ago. What a wonderful picture of your boys!

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