As we enter a holiday season like no other, it reminds me of Christmases past when I’d go into a spending coma buying anything that looked like a good deal because it was on sale. Then I’d start the gift wrapping, pulling out my haul of conspicuous consumption, I would find presents that I purchased earlier in the year because they were the perfect gift for someone. Oh damn, I forgot I already bought them a gift. Whoa! As my daughter got older, I would put aside some gifts and save them for her February birthday. One of the very few advantages of being born near or on a holiday. And for god’s sake, make sure you don’t wrap those presents in holiday paper. This is personal as I am born on New Year’s Eve, and those of us who are holiday kids know precisely what I’m talking about. Even so, I still bought more than I should have.
I could go on and on about the holidays’ commercialization, but why, we all know the shameless drill of holiday decorations being sold earlier each year; I actually saw stuff in stores in October. We’ll be encouraged to keep gatherings small. There won’t be parties where your co-worker gets sh*t faced. We won’t all be getting together to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” or “Elf” with our families together in our living rooms.
Nevertheless, let’s decide to make this holiday season full of good memories by doing what we can to help others and keep others safe by buying less, and giving as much as we can comfortably afford. Appreciate the simple gift of love and empathy. Sit down or Zoom with your kids and family to discuss how this Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are unique, and be faithful to the meaning of those holidays. In a time when just occupying the same physical space as your family is huge
It’s those simple things that seem to have the most importance – our health, shelter, and food on the table. I hope communities come together and share an experience of acceptance, compassion, and gratitude. That’s what I want for Christmas. What do you want?