With the sad state of the economy, we are inundated with news reports and stories about people looking for a bargain. Or a way to get that material possession for a bargain price. I was watching one of the morning shows where they had some person online looking for a bargain for someone who wanted a Wii and a laptop. Seriously? How about saving your money for something really important? Like food. Or getting out of debt. Or rent. I hear people complaining that they don't have enough money to buy gifts this year. Yet, there they are in front of the Wal-Mart trampling and killing people to get a bargain on some item that the person they give it to will probably consider obsolete in six months. Makes sense, eh?
Here's a thought, America: rather than worry about getting your kids some toy-of-the-moment, how about using this opportunity to teach them how to give back to the world? Instead of exacerbating their need to consume, how about teaching them the rewards of appreciating what you do have? Too hard? Ok, how about teaching people that when you have no money, you don't get things? Maybe that way, the mortgage debacle won't happen again.
I have, once again, taken myself out of the gift-giving insanity that people pass as Christmas. Years ago, I told my family that I did not want to exchange presents anymore. Somewhere, that stopped. Probably because my "in-laws" do it. So, this year, I have told them that going forward I no longer want any type of material present. If they really want to spend money on me, then they can donate it to a charity of their choice.
I cringe when I hear people base the worth of the holidays on whether they can afford gifts.
If you can put food on the table and spend time with friends, then the holidays are a success.
If you can stand on your own two feet and not be a burden to anyone, then the holidays are a success.
If you can wake up on December 25 and look into the eyes of a loved one, then the holidays are a success.
If you can teach someone that the true meaning of "goodwill to all" is sharing your precious time with them, then the holidays are a success.
And nothing in a big box that is bright or shiny can do any of that. I wish America would realize that. Because it feels more and more like they don't. Later.