A Blessing In Disguise
With the economy in the tank and life feeling a little uncertain right now, we are blessed with truly learning what is important this holiday season. The holidays aren't really about the latest toys, expensive gifts, and all the other crap that Madison Avenue force feeds into our easily manipulated minds. This year we are given the chance to reclaim what this time of year is really all about. The celebration of friends, family and harmony.
Some of the greatest gifts given and received have been over looked and bypassed, because we are expected to go "overboard." We are told by advertisers to spend beyond our means, or the only way to feel love and the "holiday spirit" is to buy extravegant gifts and to live in some shopping fenzy that actually demeans this time of year.
Some of the happiest memories of the season, speaking for myself, were not the actual gifts I received growing up, truthfully I don't really remember many of those gifts. But I do remember time spent with a house full of family, friends, neighbors and folk that meant a lot to the family. I remember the sound of laughter in the house, the ball game on, or music. I remember the aromas in the air, and greeting, anyone who stopped by, at the door. I remember the sense of joy and fun of the after dinner card games, board game and jigsaw puzzles...While everyone just casually visited and talked.
I remember a sense of spirit and peace as you walked through various rooms of the home. There was something different going on in every room, but it all felt together. I remember the warmth and the cracle of the fire place. I remember children playing and adult laughing. The sounds of pots and pans clanking, and the door bell ringing. I still think back can remember the sound of everyones laughter and voices. But I don't remember many of those "must have presents" that I received through the years. I do though remember the generosity my parents have always had and how they tried to make sure that the holidays were special.
Oddly, I think they, themselves don't remember so much the gifts, the shopping fenzies, and the countless trips back and forth to the stores and shopping malls as much as the spirit of the season.
I remember the excitement in the air during the holidays. I remember going downtown to see the holiday windows and the "Christmas Toy Lands" talking to the giant snowman in the mall and the holiday parades. To this day I still watch the Macy's Parade, even through I think it has lost a bit of the magic that used to make it so amazing. I still to this day enjoy see the overly decorated homes, and still once in a while you still come across the door-to-door carolers (remember doing that?)
Maybe this year with the low economy and many with the lack of disposible income will actually be a blessing in disguise. Maybe this year people will remember what the holiday season is really all about and what is really important. Maybe this will be the year that the world will reclaim the holidays...A time to be shared with friends and family...a time of giving (not necessarily material gifts) and a time to build many fond and happy memories that will live on much longer than any old toy, or a piece of jewerly. Maybe this is the year of true and great holiday spirit.
May your holiday season be filled with joy, happiness and wonderful memories (...and maybe caroling)