Volume 2, Issue 12, December 2003
HAPPY HOLIDAYS…TO GIVE OR TO GET?
Well it’s that time of year again…Festive Lights, Festive Food, Festive Song, Festive Parties, Festive Cheer, Festive Shopping, Festive Giving, Festive Getting.
And then there is the other side…Pressure to Buy Gifts, Pressure to Put up Festive Decorations, Pressure to visit people you don’t see all year, Pressure to go to parties, Pressure to think, act and be festive.
What if you don’t want to, or can’t play at being festive? Unfortunately there are many, many people who see this festive season as a very difficult time. These people may not have family. They may have been disowned by their family. They may have lost a family member recently. Or, they simply don’t have the means to shop till they drop. Maybe their religion or culture just doesn’t recognize this time of year.
Yet for the next month we are inundated with: “Merry Christmas!”, “Happy Holidays”, “What do you want for Christmas?”, or “Get your Christmas shopping done yet?” It goes on and on.
In order to get a reaction I usually say that I don’t do Christmas. As a matter of fact I think it is my least favorite time of the year. Well I might as well have done horrible things to small animals.
“How could you not like Christmas?” they say.
“That’s unheard of. Everyone loves Christmas.”
The inference is that I must be a misfit. I must be sick. What could I possibly be thinking? After all…It’s Christmas!!!! It makes me feel the world is a tuxedo and I am a pair of brown shoes.
I don’t want this issue to be a downer. After all this is suppose to be a motivational newsletter. So, hear comes the motivational thinking part.
Start to think about your action. Think about why you do what you do. Basically I think the concept of Christmas is a good thing. Giving a loving gift is not bad. But we seem to be giving these gifts, not from the heart or from love, but from the sense of duty.
I’m doing what I should have done years ago, which is finding out who I am and what I want. I want to have choice. And when I make decisions through choice, not duty, it has to be better for me and for the people who love me and the people I love.
- Louise Fletcher
I decided many years ago that I didn’t need another sweater and that I would rather see the money spent on going to the food bank for those who really can use a gift given out of love without expecting a gift in return.
Still many of my friends and family are into the gift exchange thing but my partner and his family have decided that we will put the money we would normally spend on each other and give it to the food bank. So every year we present the food bank with a nice cheque for those who really need a gift.
When my granddaughter, Emily, was born (she will be 2 on December 15th) her mother asked me about Christmas. (By the way, her entire family is forbidden to blend a birthday and Christmas present together for Emily. I think that is a good thing.) Being that I don’t buy gifts at Christmas Emily’s mother was saying that Emily may not understand that Papa (that’s me) is the only person in her life that did not buy her a Christmas gift. Talk about peer pressure!!
So resourceful (that’s me) came up with a brilliant idea. Beginning this year, Emily and I will go to the grocery store a few days before Christmas and I will let her pick out some non-perishable food items. We will then take them over to the food bank and donate them to the less fortunate.
That way we are still doing something together at Christmas and I am teaching my granddaughter the concept of giving. Hopefully as Emily grows and matures, she will understand the true meaning of giving (not exchanging) a gift of love from the heart without expecting something in return.
What type of Christmas values are you passing on to our next generation?
Peace, Love and Giving…
“Make decisions through choice not duty.”
“Ted spoke at our Victims Assistance Services of Oxford County graduation & Christmas Party in Woodstock on Nov. 19, 2003. Great speaker--sure is nice when humour can get a point across to an audience like Ted did”-----Andrea Mayberry
I would like to remind everyone to have a safe holiday season. Please don’t drink and drive and don’t let the people you care about put themselves and others in danger either. It’s okay to have fun but not at the expense of someone’s life. If you want to take Ted’s suggestion of donating this Christmas, and are looking for ideas other than the food bank, please consider donating to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). You can visit their website www.madd.ca for more information or call 1-800-665-6233.
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