Thursday, December 15, 2011

What does Christmas mean to you?

Wow! It seems like I have been missing from the Blog World for a while! I have missed you guys and I have had plenty to say, I have just been crazy busy, in a little bit of a funk, not feeling creative, and had plain old writers block. When I share with you guys, I try to be upbeat or at the very least some what inspiring, and lately I just haven't felt it. SO...I took some time off, and now I'm back. I still don't have a lot to say, I'm still in a semi funk, I'm still not feeling all that creative and my writers brain isn't ticking very well, but I have some things on my heart and I thought I'd go ahead and share.
We are all very aware that it is Christmas (I can't believe it is already December 2011. Crazy how fast time is going). Usually, this is my favorite time of year. But for some reason this year I am feeling blah. I have listened to Christmas music all day, decorated my house, baked our favorite goodies, and nothing works, I still feel more like scrooge than Mrs. Clause. Finally, after spending a solid week going back and forth to malls, shoe stores, flower shops, and getting alterations for my kids winter formal. It hit me, why I'm sad. I'm sad because Christmas has gotten so incredibly commercialized. I don't know if it has always been or if it is just that I am older and I am seeing it more clearly. The entire holiday is centered on what everyone wants, how much you can spend, where to find the perfect gift, long lists, long lines, and lots of debt.
When my kids were little, we had all the normal Christmas traditions, we took time to enjoy all the little things, and we celebrated the reason for the season...JESUS! My kids are much older and wiser, and are very aware of the real reason we celebrate Christmas, but it did not stop them from making a very long list of over the top materialistic items. After reading their lists, I was sick to my stomach. Did I make them this way? Is this what they are exposed to everyday? How in the world do they even know these brands? And why would I spend $800.00 for a pair of boots just because it has a "famous" label on it. RIDICULOUS! Kids today, feel way too much pressure to keep up, whether from peers at school or magazines and television shows they are exposed to. Society is teaching our children in order to be “somebody” you need to wear a certain label, live in a certain home in a certain neighborhood, drive a certain car, or be able to vacation in these certain areas.
What happened to simplicity? I know society has always pushed sales down our throats during Christmas, and I know that kids have always wanted to keep up with what everyone else has, but it seems that it is now defining “who” they are. I want my kids to refocus their thoughts and realize things do not make a person, and getting a large amount of expensive items does not mean you had a successful Christmas. I will admit I have always bought my kids way to many things for Christmas, it was easy to do when they only wanted toys. I heard a lady on KLOVE sharing her Christmas traditions, she said her kids have always only gotten four gifts, one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, and one thing to read. She said her children are very appreciative and they are able to spend more money on making memories, instead of buying more stuff. WE are a society consumed with too much stuff! I have decided not only to minimalize the commerciality of Christmas this year, but also to also try and buy only things that will help to benefit others in some way. That meaning I will buy gifts from other bloggers, websites where the proceeds go to charity, St. Jude’s (I love their little drawings), or small ma and paw stores. My kids are blessed, they do not need anything, they may have things they want but there are people out there who want a home to live in, food to eat, a warm coat to wear, or to have their loved one with them during this time of year. Many people are fighting for their lives this holiday season, many have given their lives to protect us and left their loved one’s to be fatherless or husbandless at Christmas. So let’s think about them, pray for them, bless them in some way, and help people we love and people we come in contact with to realize what it means to truly celebrate Christmas. Starting new traditions will help the future generations realize that it is not all about “the stuff”. Jesus and his love for us is all we need. It is the reason we celebrate the best gift we could possible get. HIS BIRTH. We all come into this world with nothing, and we will all leave with nothing. Bless someone else this Christmas, give up the stuff.
I was reading an article from a hospice nurse who said that out of all the hundreds of people she has sat with during their last moments on earth, they all made the same comments about the things they had wished they had done before they died. The number one thing….LIVED..... Lived a purpose filled life, spent more time enjoying the blessings around them, worked less, and loved deeper. A good thing for all of us to think about. Let's not wait till we are dying to LIVE....Take a few minutes to reevaluate your Christmas this year...give up a little now to gain a lifetime of memories for later.

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