There are two types of gift in the world.
One sort consists of something bought because the recipient needed to be bought something. This is generally done in a hurry and at the last moment possible. It also means a quick trip to some well advertised shop to get an equally well advertised object which is this year's must have item. Only money changes hands here. The love and caring has been replaced by obligation and keeping up with appearances at any cost.
The other sort is made by thought, time, effort and only occasionally money. These are the gifts we give of ourselves and they do not exist in a world of consumerism.
I look at christmas now and I see only an endless sea of advertising. Buy, buy, buy scream the banners and millions of us obey blindly in a sort of orgy of credit cards, all to the tune of carols telling of a boy born in a barn. Looking in as an outsider, I would assume that this festival is in honour of a self made millionaire who valued wealthy gifts above all else.
I am assured that this is not the case. So why do we do it? It seems that "all we like sheep have gone astray" to the tune of Mammon, not Handel.
Isn't it time we took back our festivals and celebrated them with honour and the spiritual integrity they deserve. And not only the festivals to which we belong, but to other people's festivals too.
Why not do what the festivals were originally set up to achieve. Give appropriately and with love or the meaning will vanish in a glut of plastic angels and fake Santas. Let the little ones enjoy but also let them understand that a gift is just that. It is not up to you to pick your gifts - that must come from the giver along with their love. You must receive gratefully what you are given, even if it isn't the latest action hero or barbie doll, because it was given with love.
Teach your children that they are not the center of the universe. Ditch the "me, me, me" thing and maybe the rampant consumerism will start dying.
Why not begin today. Renounce your consumerism and humbly take your place in your community and.........
viv in nz