When I was a child, commercialized attempts to encourage my desire for things unrelated to the true Spirit of Christmas made the day nearly unbearable. Cries from other children on our block, amid the sound of wrapping paper snatched from that year’s “must have” toy and the smell of food that I hoped was also being prepared in our empty kitchen introduced me to adult-sized disappointment.
This year especially, I would like you to consider the giving spirit of Christmas as something we can do everyday. We can give without buying friends. We can give without going into debt. We can give without borrowing or selling merchandise that is made to break on the very date specified on the warranty. We can give without continuing to reward retailers that do not pretend to be in the business of giving when they take and refuse to care about anything other than their quarterly dividends.
We can take the cost of 1 present and instead donate it to a worthwhile charity. We can take the time spent in raging insanity that someone took the parking spot you idled and cussed through rounds and rounds of parking lot merry-go-round and help someone who you know, or don’t. We can take the pain of swollen feet, bad food and the crush of crowds in malls and offer to go caroling or visit with or simply communicate with someone alive and in need of human contact and Love.
We can take the hours of false cheer on cable televised shopping channels with their “Special Today Only Values” and work on those dreams we deferred for cubicles and thinly veiled work contracts that only make us feel like wage slaves.
We can take the educations that we earned and are struggling to pay for and actually use them to help, not just ourselves, but others. Be still and remember that education can spark new ideas that will help society, and our individual need to achieve dreams that our ancestors did not know existed.
Someday is today. It’s Monday!
Let us get to work.
Song suggestion: Mercy, Dave Matthews Band