Thursday, December 10, 2009

Contrived Christmas...

Its that time of year again. The time of year where all of my perfectionistic expectations go unmet, my self-righteous wishes remain unfulfilled and my incorrigible romanticism with traditions sustains its' non-existent life. Ok, now that I've admitted to my absurd desires, let me attempt to re-forage my character in a way that is ever-so-slightly less narcissistic. All aforementioned yearnings fall in the category of, let's face it, inconceivably selfish motives. I envision the perfect Christmas memories complete with snow falling, carols, candlelight, and while we are at it, a host of angels singing laudably overhead. Yes, ridiculous. Especially when it comes down to the true meaning of the season. Regardless of religious affiliation, I think we all can agree that this time of year has become too much about stuff and too little about things that aren't necessarily tangible but prevalently more profound and meaningful.

I am curious behind peoples traditions and motivations for the holiday season. As our economy hangs by a loose thread, we, as Americans, are being forced to rethink our fiscal 'dedication' to the holidays. More and more I see people drowning in financial subjugation or a sense of responsibility to monetarily challenge the 'Jones'. When will the all-mighty dollar finally lose out to game nights and home made gifts? When we spend our time instead of our money, we retain the money in our bank accounts along with a sense of selfless dedication to something that lasts.

Even after evaluating our choices during this season of love (even better if we dedicated this to the entire year) when do we decide to focus our thoughts, prayers, and money if we so have, onto others? When do humans become our responsibility rather than an inconvenience? I have worn the banner of self involved, over indulged holiday extraordinaire, and I must say, it was not note worthy. The crowded mall. The time spent acrimoniously fighting over a parking spot. The hours lost with our precious family members while we are stressing over credit card statements. This is what we have to show for our consumeristic outlook on Christmas. Maybe it is fortuitous that certain books and articles have been placed in my hands this past month that have reminded me of my place in this chapter of life. I just recently finished Half the Sky by Nickolas Kristof and am continuing to inundate myself with information that not only pulls me out of the ignorance gap, but motivates me to not just sympathize but empathize. Information regarding our beloved compatriots in life, will always trump 'stuff'. I encourage us to look past our glossy ornaments and frosted window panes and into the hells that haunt many areas of our beloved planet. We have the opportunity and presence of mind to bring a real Christmas miracle to the starving, raped, and demoralized. A bit more meaningful than yet another neck tie, huh?

"Worship fully. Spend Less. Give more. Love all" (Wise words brought to you by Let's conspire to live this season in a way that reflects love of people not love of the mundane and ordinary. For material possessions are anything but extraordinary. They come, they fall apart, the go to our dumps. Human beings shouldn't be treated as expendable items. Dedicate the time you have to loving on people. Treating them as the special individuals that they are. Celebrate through the giving of yourself for no other gift will find itself more cherished.

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