So I'm sitting here, minding my own business, listening to internet radio while weaving tails into my (finally) finished scarves, (more about those later...maybe.) when I hear a commercial for Wal-Mart.
A woman's well modulated voice filters over the air waves... "Making them happy..." a young girl's voice pipes up saying, "oh, I love it!", and the woman finishes with "...that's what I want for Christmas."
I am disturbed by the innuendo that you can buy a child's happiness with a Christmas present.
Hold on a minute while I drag my soapbox over here. You might want to get comfortable...
Now before I go off on a tear here, may I interject that I am NOT anti-gift giving. By no means. I love Christmas. I love the anticipation of what special gifts Christmas may bring.
It just makes me so crazy that there are people out there who still think that giving kids (and not just kids) lots of presents for Christmas will make for a meaningful Christmas! They think that they need lots of stuff to open on Christmas and/or spend a boatload of money on one "big" gift.
And the incredible thing is, they set themselves up for it every year by beginning the season with the age old question..." What do you want for Christmas?" Which, in my mind, teaches our children to think: "how much can we milk our parents and grandparents for this year?"
It has occurred to me as I look at our present economic situation that in our attempt to create our own happiness, we have created our misery. Because that "gimme" attitude is not limited to Christmas. And it's not limited to children.
We are selfish, self-centered creatures. Funny how that's not a behavior that has to be taught.
I wonder what would happen if we spent one Christmas not thinking about what we would get, but what we would give?
There are several ways to practice the discipline of thinking of others by giving to others. There's Operation Christmas Child, Angel Tree, and Toys for Tots to name a very few.
How about starting in your own home? Get children involved in picking out other family member's gifts. Have them make something of their own creation for grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and cousins. (Not to mention mom and dad.)
Why not nurture your own creativity and resourcefulness? What could you make or do for someone that would be more meaningful than a mass produced gift that you're hoping they like?
You might actually find some happiness along the way...