Xmas! What does it mean to you?

 

When I was a child Christmas was my favorite time of the year. Dad would buy a Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving and we would spend days decorating it.

Up until I was about 8 years old I believed in Santa Claus and always made sure to leave out cookies and milk, which were always consumed, without fail, in hopes that it would influence the quality of my presents. I sat on his lap the week before and I told him exactly what I wanted. I remember almost always getting what I asked for and then some.

Life was simple in the 1950s. The holidays came and went, and I loved each one, but Christmas was always my favorite.

Thanksgiving came, and that meant that Christmas was next month. As a child, a month seemed like forever, and I was excited the whole time in anticipation. The cities put up decorations on the streets, and Christmas music came from every speaker. People were kind to each other, and the general attitude was cheerful.

 

I grew up and had children of my own and I tried to recreate the same feeling for them that I had. We spent enormous amounts of money on gifts and decorations and feasts.

Christmas holiday began a week before Thanksgiving, and the hype was unending until New Yearís Day.

I really started to notice nonstop traffic, and people werenít so cheerful anymore. For the first time I really started to notice the dead trees tossed out on the streets with bits of tinsel on most and flocking on some.

My wife made sure that the kids got whatever they wanted but they always had to fight about something. I now have credit card debt and I am broke until next Christmas.

 

It will be 2023 in a week, and in two weeks I will be 77 years old. I am writing this on Christmas eve, eve. (12-23-2022)

It is worse than ever! The hype begins 2 weeks before Halloween, and is so intense that it is annoying. There is black Friday and cyber Monday, and everything is on sale.

 

Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I dread to see it coming and I refuse to venture out unless absolutely necessary. The traffic has become intolerable, and people are so rude that it is unpleasant to be in public. (not to mention the pandemic, and the danger of becoming ill)

 

This is the first year that I havenít bought presents. When something is expected, it is no longer a gift. Rather than buying a gift for someone, I believe a food treat, or something made by hand, (your hand) carries more meaning than the most expensive gift.

 

We have completely forgotten the meaning of Christmas. For god fearing people, Christmas represented the birth of Jesus. The three wise men brought gifts from afar after following a star announcing his arrival.

This year, I havenít seen the Nativity scene at all. Itís Santa, and Rudolf, and Frosty, and Christ, who the holiday is named for, is forgotten

 

These days there is little mention of Christ. He has been pushed aside by commercial activity, and people feel so obligated to satisfy their own image of Christmas that there is no longer any joy. Only stress. Everyone needs to chop down and kill a young tree to put in their house without giving any thought to the millions of trees destroyed to make the tons of paper that we wrap gifts with, which is immediately discarded on Christmas day.

 

Am I the only one that this bothers? Donít misunderstand! I love the idea of the holidays but we all need to calm down a little! A family get together is a wonderful thing. We donít do that often enough and having a holiday which encourages reunion is a good thing. Without the stress of exchanging gifts, personal interaction could be so much morerewarding.

 

As I look back, I can remember, along with the joy of getting a ton of presents, the feelings of greed and jealousy, and intense disappointment if I didnít get what I wanted.

I could see it in my children, and today, it has gotten worse. The grown up children are as bad as the youngsters. Most of us are unaware of the appalling conditions that half of the human population lives with. Children die every day without ever knowing what it feels like to have a full stomach. So many people have never seen clean water, and they would kill to have the food that we waste. Most of the fortunate would rather not hear about these things. Life is much more pleasant without worrying about the plight of others.

M C G A

Making Christmas Great Again

I have a few ideas to offer.

1.       No chopping down of trees!

2.       Gifts for one another may not be purchased.

3.       Handmade gifts may not be wrapped.

4.       Gift giving must not be mandatory.

5.       Find another way to make children excited about Xmas.

6.       Reunions are good (if possible) and that should get everyone excited.

7.       If you believe in Christ, you should celebrate Him every day. Make Xmas be about Santa and Rudolf doing something besides gifts!

8.       Calm down with the food. Try preparing ethnic dishes. If you arenít Native American, your ancestors were foreigners. Turkey wasnít a #1 dish. You can, then, enjoy turkey on the Fourth of July, if you so choose.

9.       Lets exercise some of the words we sling around at Xmastime! MERRY, JOY, LOVE, PEACE, GENEROSITY, KINDNESS, and most of all, RESPECT!

 

This is something that will be resisted until we experience catastrophe, and no one has TOO MUCH, and we will all be lucky to have ENOUGH! Already, half of the people in America donít have enough, and that number is growing faster every day. The number of homeless persons is at a record high and is growing faster every day. These people are already doing what I suggest, aside from gifting children. Hopefully, that is being done responsibly. The pressure that tradition applies can force some to overextend, adding to an already alarming situation.

 

Merry Xmas