Rethinking Christmas

December always brings on a case of melancholy for me. And I know I’m not the only one as I have people voice this almost everywhere I go.
It’s Christmas-time and we are faced with the fact that some of our loved ones are no longer with us to celebrate. Add in the fact of the season change, especially this year with it’s weird weather, and you can have a case of seasonal depression. Not sure if that’s a real term but seems like I have heard it before.
I think it’s also partly brought on because we put too much on ourselves during this time. There is always a rush to finish shopping, to put up decorations, to attend this event and that event. There is no shortage of events to attend  for us at the newspaper either; too many events to attend for coverage as it is impossible to be everywhere.
I am used to being busy and going from here and there but this year, covering two parades tended to be a bit much for me. Don’t know what’s going on but I found myself completely bushed at the end of the day. I saw where several people attended three and four parades. I certainly don’t know how they did it.
I do not understand why we continue to do this to ourselves.
Yes, I know I’m getting older but that shouldn’t have that much of an affect on me. Perhaps it also has something to do with the seasonal depression thing.
The end of the year is coming and this has been a year of change in many ways at our house. Seems like we just got over one major change and then were faced with another before we had a chance to recoup from the previous one.
I’m not really complaining mind you, cause I am well aware that many other people have had to face larger challenges and changes than we have this year. My heart and prayers go out to them. I wish I could fix everything but I can’t. All I can do is pray and lend a shoulder or an ear when needed.
Christmas at our house will be downsized this year. I saw somewhere about buying just four presents for children: a toy, something to read, something to wear and something they want. I think it’s a good idea. It’s time to uncommercialize Christmas.
Kids these days get too much all during the year and at birthdays it seems like Christmas. Therefore, they don’t appreciate the things they get as much. It’s hard not to buy your kids and grandchildren things all the time but in the end I think we are doing them a big disservice. They come to expect things and sometimes it’s just not possible to do as much as in previous years.
Christmas items began showing up in stores during September. And now that it’s December, some stores have already discounted Christmas items and are about sold out.
When the kids were smaller, we participated in Christmas stocking programs where we provided presents for other families. I still do that as well now that they are all grown.
I’m thinking about doing a family project. Instead of such big Christmas celebrations, perhaps we all donate to a needy cause or another family in need or spend a day serving in a soup kitchen. Or maybe passing out necessities to homeless people we see. Something, anything other than making Christmas so commercialized.
It’s not about the presents; it’s about Christ and the gift of His birth to us.
At Thanksgiving I was pleased to see some stores not opening and encouraging people to spend time with families. This needs to be the attitude during Christmas as well.
I mean, really, do we need another tie, or another pair of socks or some expensive piece of jewelry? For most of us, I think that answer would be “no”. It’s time we learned to be content where we are and with what we already have at home.
In wanting our children to have more than we had growing up, we have gone overboard and appreciation for what we have out the window.
This is not a condemnation against anyone, for I, too, am guilty. Once you’ve crossed that line, it is hard to step backward but it can be done.
It’s no wonder we have people crying and having breakdowns because their candidate lost the election. We have done this to ourselves with the way we have raised our children. We give them big toys, even cars without them having any responsibility for it themselves.
My dad did give me my first car, it was old but I appreciated it. I had to maintain it, pay for the insurance on it and buy my own gas. When I left for college, Daddy did say he would help if I needed it but because of him instilling in me the importance of standing on one’s own feet, I worked two jobs to pay for it and ended up with a degree without a big loan to pay back.
We need to rethink Christmas presents and how much we give our children throughout the year. They also need to understand about being responsible adults, not just being handed things all the time. First and foremost, they need to know the real reason for the season and as parents it’s up to us to set that example. Blessings.©2016

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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