Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Christmas Does Mean?

By Sandi

Christmas does not mean, buy, buy, buy…spend a lot of money.

Christmas should not mean loneliness, being on the streets and being without food. There are

Statistics show Christmas is the time of year where many people commit suicide. There is pressure of the following:
thousands of people in the world who are in this situation. Would it not be a joyful experience if we felt safe enough to invite a lonely person or a homeless person into our home during the Christmas season to share some food with and make them aware they are special in his or her own way? This in itself is a gift.
(1) “spend time with your family”
(2) “spend time with your friends”
(3) “cook a turkey dinner with the fixings”
(4) “put up a tree with all the trimmings”
(5) “buy gifts for those people in your life that you love etc. 

There are many people in the world that are not fortunate to be able to do any of the above as they don’t have family, don’t have friends, can’t afford to buy a turkey etc. Through all the hype, loneliness becomes more prominent during the Christmas season. Some people find the pain so unbearable that they just want to avoid the hurt.
The problem with the pressure to buy, buy, buy is that there are people who do not have self-discipline and cannot afford to spend a lot of money on gifts, however, because it is Christmas will go into extreme debt. People believe they will pay this debt off later; however, this does not appear to happen. Unfortunately, some of these people are shopaholics. The sponsors of the numerous advertisements pressuring people to buy are feeding this addiction.

Years ago there were numerous advertisements to purchase cigarettes…this has now ceased. Scientists and doctors have proven that smoking is harmful to a person’s health. Over spending is also hazardous to a person’s health. Extreme debt and finding a solution causes stress that causes numerous health problems. Valuable relationships have almost been destroyed for the wrong reasons…materialism. I suspect we will see the need for the same kind of interventions for consumerism as we did for smoking cessation in the future.  Thousands of children know Christmas as only being the time of year they are going to receive numerous gifts and grow up with with this mind set.

Another scenario occurs during Christmas. Numerous charities are asking for money. There are people who want to give to the charities that mean the most to them, however, unfortunately they cannot, as they themselves do not have the money to give and put themselves on a guilt trip because they care so much.

Last, but not least, winter holiday traditions are different for all cultures and beliefs. The Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season. Therefore, speaking as a Christian, I wish you a Merry Christmas, welcoming you into my tradition of celebration, not consumerism.  I welcome you into my celebration, as other faith traditions welcome me.

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