it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
you know, Deck the Malls with Crowds of Folly and whatnot. isn't that how the song goes? Have a Holly Jolly Gift-mas?
i know, i know i am repeating the age old and popularized-by-Charlie-Brown adage that "Christmas is too commercialized"
for all of those groaning, rolling your eyes, or logging off, (well i guess those of you logging off won't be able to read this) i must say, that if you don't want cliche reprimands, stop creating the need for them!
for example, the average amount of money an American family spent on Christmas in 2009 was $417. this year, it is estimated to be about $646. wow! aren't we going through a recession or something?
and this is the av-er-age.
this includes the newlyweds struggling through college.
did you know that if just 10 families gave up their $646 worth of presents, they could build a well and purification system for an African village? And this $6,500 includes preparing the community for the water project, actual construction and the long-term monitoring and evaluation needed.
but i see how the latest ipod is more important than clean water.
another sadness of Christmas commercialism: "the meaning of Christmas"
how many of you have heard a heart-warming song, or movie, or TV show that ends with the simple lesson that "The true meaning of Christmas is that it is better to give than to Receive?"
then wouldn't it be Givemas? what happened to CHRISTmas? when did we forget that Christmas really has nothing to do with silver bells, sleigh rides, or bellies shaking like bowls full of jelly? When did the symbol of Christmas change from the most perfect, loving, and divine being on earth, to a bearded fat man who climbs down your chimney? And isn't it so interesting that "winter" break always lands over Christmas? i really don't think that we would have riotous people if we called it "Christmas break"
i know, i know, it's fine and dandy to sound all noble when I'm sitting at the computer, but is it really logical to remember these things, when you're in the midst of mistletoe? (and by the way, i have never in my life seen a real spring of mistletoe and, for my sake it should probably be brought back.)........(just kidding) but the point is: amidst the "ho ho ho" and "jingle bells" it can sometimes be hard to remember that we are celebrating the most miraculous event in history, and not just scouring the stores for that have-to-have gift.
my advice to you (although i am by no means qualified to give advice of any sort) is to take time to be grateful for all of the wonderful privileges you have in your life, and maybe forsake the brand-name coat and donate to charity. I think that's what our ultimate example would have done, and as we celebrate his birth during this season, try to give him the gift of loving others.
*my sister said that she didn't read my posts anymore because they didn't have anything "interesting" like pictures. so here is a picture of a greedy child. enjoy, but do not imitate.