Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more...

I was listening to a talk show on the radio the other day and the host said that due to our nations economy, this was gonna be "the worst holiday season ever." It stopped me in my tracks to hear that... I actually turned and looked at the radio in disgust. (As if whoever was on the other side of that thing could see me!) The worst holiday season ever??? That's a bit extreme isn't it? What is it that constitutes the best and worst holiday seasons?

It got me to thinking... now I know that we are in tough economic times and I suppose that to some, the thought of less presents and fewer holiday trimmings could be depressing... but really, is it the presents and the trimmings that truly make the holiday?

Personally, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays... why? Because it is in no way commercial. Thanksgiving is all about being together with family & friends, eating a ton of food, playing games, watching football and loving every second of it!

Now, Christmas on the other hand has become very commercialized in our culture. How many people do you personally buy Christmas presents for? Think about it... we start shopping for Christmas way before Thanksgiving... and I bet if your list is as long as mine, that it puts a decent size hole in your bank account... especially when your kids are in school and have seven favorite teachers EACH. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE giving presents... it is absolutely awesome to see my kids (all three of them) open presents on Christmas day, but give me a break. It is not going to be "the worst holiday season ever" if I don't get anything!

Presents Shmesents. It is the Spirit of Christmas that I can't live without. Nothing warms my heart like seeing the Christmas lights strung up through the neighborhoods or nativity scenes in homes. I bask in putting up our little tree with the homemade ornaments I made the first year of our marriage along with all the ornaments we have been given from family and friends through the years. I get up and dance when I hear Mariah Carey singing "All I want for Christmas" or "Joy to the World" and I get teary eyed to hear Celine Dion sing "Oh Holy Night" or Sarah McLachlan sing "Silent Night". I thrive on baking cookies or making fudge with my kids to deliver to neighbors. I live for reading a different Christmas scripture or story every day from the book my sister Carole made me a few years ago. Most of all, I just want to be with the people I love... ALL of them, all month long. Good family, good friends, good times... that is seriously what it is all about.

Remember the story of the Grinch? He went in to Whoville and took every present, ornament, crumb of food... EVERYTHING the Who's had, hoping to steal Christmas from them. But in the end, he could not take their spirit... and dang it Mr. Radio Talk Show Host... you aren't taking mine either!

"Maybe Christmas," he thought,

"doesn't come from a store."

"Maybe Christmas... perhaps...

means a little bit more!"

I don't care if I don't get the latest Ipod or a touch screen phone. Perhaps Christmas NEEDS to be downsized a bit. Perhaps we need to concentrate less on the size and value of the presents we give and receive, and focus more on the Spirit in which they were given. Our nations economy isn't gonna make this Christmas "the worst holiday season ever" for me or anyone around me because I plan on spreading the joy dude! (Starting with a Christmas play list on my blog! That's right folks... I am giving in to help save the season!)

After all, Christmas is all about a little baby who was born in a stable... honestly, what more do we need than him?


R Clan said...

I seriously need to quit reading your posts. It seems as of late that every time I do I start crying!!! SHEESH!

I think everyone needs to read what you just wrote. Everything you said is so true and it does help me see "what CHRISTmas is all about." I think you should send that in to the radio talk show host that you heard it from.

Thanks for your wonderful thoughts. I think it is what everyone needs to ponder about at this time.

hdknowles said...

Now that's the true Christmas spirit. Thanks for reminding us what is really important. You go, Petra.

MaryBeth said...

Good gracious, is that's true then Rick and I have been having the worst christmas' ever for ten years...we never have money!

I love all the feelings that come with Christmas...all sorts of good times.

Denise said...

I love that my mom loved your post because I've been trying to get her to do a little less in the gift department for years. Maybe you have had an impact. I'll let you know :)

hdknowles said...

Don't worry Denise - with the wedding right before Christmas, the gift department is nearly depleted of funds. So your wish will come true.