The Christmas Holiday Season
by John A
As with many folks, the Christmas Holiday is one filled with unpleasant memories or unrealistic expectations. It's a time when we tend get in debt or spend a lot of free money trying to make others happy. For many years I was one of those people.
Since my retirement nearly four years ago, I have had to re-prioritize my life style and attitude about many things. Christmas is one of those events that I struggled with for years because of not only the unreasonable expectations, but also some unpleasant memories.
But a lot of that changed a couple of years ago when I realized that it wasn't important to keep up with the Jones or to buy another person's happiness through material items. Those things will soon fade away. They're just things...if you know what I mean?
I came to the realization that Christmas really isn't a holiday of exchanging presents, sugar plums, elves, Santa, Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" or listening to Burl Ives sing "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer".
Instead it is a state of mind that we must carry throughout the year; where we treat our fellow man with respect, friendship, dignity & courtesy. It's a time where we may need to renew our personal relationship with God, or who ever you view as a higher power. It's not about religion since that's a man made thing and something Jesus railed against during his entire ministry in the Christian world. It's the personal relationship that's important.
Instead, I use Christmas in service to others. I've mentioned in previous posts on this site that I volunteer at a local hospital. It's a time of year sick folks struggle with illness or injury and what better food for the soul can one get and receive by bring a smile to one or more of these folks? Also, it's a time to rekindle those friendships that seem to have slipped through the cracks somewhere down the road already traveled.
So here's one suggestion for all my friends that I don't know. Do this after all the packages are unwrapped and our bellies full from a mid-day Christmas dinner and you begin to feel that normal emotional let down. At the end of the day, why not invite a small group of friends and family over for a nice get together just to share time, conversation, coffee or even a glass a wine. No Gifts...just their presence. End the day on a positive note instead of feeling down after all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has ended.
From a personal standpoint, I think American society has really bastardized the Christmas holiday; where store start promoting in August, it's gimme, gimme, gimme, to go into debt during difficult economic times, trying to fulfill unrealistic expectations and wonder how the bills are going to be paid. Instead, it's the quality of time, developing meaningful memories and the sharing of each other that makes this time of the year special. Just take it one step further by making each day of the year special for yourself and others. There is no greater gift than the giving of yourself in service to others and to friends. Try it, you may like it!!!!!