For kids around the world the magical visit from Santa is now only 6 short sleeps away. The lists have been posted to the North Pole, the tree is up (mine is still in its box), the lights are twinkling in the window. Mom is baking the cookies to put out on Christmas Eve (I don't bake!). Excitement abounds.....
Bah humbug... yes I'm a cynic and a very non-Christmas starter.
By now we have been staring at Christmas decorations, Christmas specials and listening to Christmas carols since the beginning of October. The shops are chaos. Tempers are frayed. Parents are fretting about what to buy their precious offspring (yes I'm one of those parents as well). If little Johnny's best friend has the most recent iPad then nothing less then same will please little Johnny. Budgets are stretched. Time is limited.
Please where is the joy of the Christmas in the above scenario?
Every year it has to be bigger and better then the last. We create so much stress for ourselves that we forget what Christmas should actually be about! Christmas should be about giving and sharing. It should be about reaching out to your loved ones and those further afield and doing good.
I repeat it should be about GIVING and not receiving.
For every child that is happily sending off his or her gift list to Santa there are probably 2 or 3 kids in the world that will not be receiving any gift at Christmas time. They possibly won't even be receiving a meal on the day. The parents trying to fill little Johnny's wishlist (and feeling guilty if they don't) will start the new year off overwhelmed with debt. This will make for a lot of unhappy family homes in January as parents then stress about finding the money for school fees, uniforms and stationery - necessities to giving their kids a decent education and head start in life... as opposed to the toy train track that now stands idle just weeks after Christmas Day.
I know I'm guilty of a lot of the above but each year I sit here and find I get a little bit more cynical. It says to me that it is time to change. The change will only come from within me. I need to sit down and take stock of what is important and discard what is not. I am allowed to do that.
I've said no to the request for the big ticket item already. I am going to continue to do so in future. Christmas should be about giving to those less fortunate and that is the message I want to give my children. Yes it might be late to start but rather late then never. My kids have 99% of their wants (let alone needs) met... time to change that ratio. Time to change it for myself to.
This year has been a learning curve for me. My biggest lesson - I can do with a lot less then what I actually thought I needed.
What do we all need to survive?
- A roof over our head
- A plate of food at night
- Clean running water
- Access to decent medical care
- Clothes to keep us warm
Read the stats in the link and consider yourself BLESSED if you have access to the 5 items listed about.
While you are out and about enjoying the Festive Season enjoy it for what it should be, time with your loved ones, sharing and making memories. Change can only start with you. You may not be able to help a 100 people but if you help just 1 that is all it will take.
Find the real spirit of Christmas and share that with those around you.