Present Tense

And so, this is Christmas????

Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids or maybe it’s because of the way my wonderful parents raised me, but Christmas doesn’t stress me out.  I do very little shopping and my siblings and I agreed years ago that none of us ‘need’ anything and since we’re spread out from coast to coast, we all choose a charity and make a donation for Christmas, in lieu of gifts.

This year is no exception. I’m not anxious about Christmas, but I am disgusted and saddened and the funny thing is, I’m not a Christian.  I’ve written quite a lot about my religious and spiritual journey (it’s on-going, by the way) and so Christmas is more of a secular holiday for me.  I love the trappings of Christmas and I love the message of peace, love and charity that Christmas should inspire.  Regardless of faith or lack thereof, who can argue with that message?  Yet, I see very little of that spirit and an over abundance of greed, selfishness, materialism, bitching, complaining, ‘being stressed-out’.  Where’s the peace and love?

People fight over parking spots, video games, toys, pajamas, canned hams, and cheap ornaments and then turn around and bitch about the ‘war on Christmas’, and how some retail outlets say “Happy Holidays”  instead of “Merry Christmas” as you swipe your credit card.  WE are the war on Christmas, folks.  It’s us.  We’re “stressed out” because we are desperately trying to buy love, happiness and acceptance through shopping and wrapping.

Remember when you were a kid and the build-up to Christmas and Santa Claus and the PRESENTS was almost too much to bear?  And remember how the day after Christmas was such a let-down?  All that excitement about the stuff we were gonna get and then once we got it, even as kids, we realized that we were still the same person.  Our lives were pretty much the same and there is so much other stuff out there that we didn’t get.  Have we learned that lesson as grown-ups?  No, ladies and gentlemen, we have not.

The dude whose birthday we’re celebrating would be shocked by our behavior.  We spend something like $450 billion on Christmas each year and just imagine if we tithed 1/10th of that to charity.  That would be a nice gift to honor Jesus and show some love to our fellow man.

So, as you’re rushing around, frantically trying to finish up your shopping at stores whose shelves are picked clean, reconsider your goal to buy more stuff for people who probably don’t need it.  Think about someone who may be hungry, cold, or trapped in a war zone.  Instead of buying something cheap and meaningless, show your love by making a donation to a worthy charity.  You can do it online, while you relax in your jammies, rather than battling the last minute lines of ‘stressed out’ shoppers.

“Peace on earth, goodwill toward men” isn’t just a line from Charlie Brown; it’s the essence of why we celebrate Christmas, regardless of your beliefs.  Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2011 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Well said!

    Comment by Philip | December 23, 2011 | Reply

  2. “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

    Comment by Kandis Glasgow | December 23, 2011 | Reply

  3. Merry Christmas Jane to you and Prince Charming, and the puppys.

    Comment by Tim | December 23, 2011 | Reply

  4. Ah yes, Dr. Seuss had it right. And you too, Jane! Even the grocery store shelves are getting a bit bare. And someone I know was crying in the grocery store yesterday, stressed out from a lot of stuff but I am sure the whole holiday scene as she knows it doesn’t help. Maybe next year I will take a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to get away from the crass commercialization here?

    Comment by Jessi | December 24, 2011 | Reply

  5. As always, bravo.

    Comment by Francesca Amari, Cabaret singer | December 26, 2011 | Reply

  6. Lovely young Jane. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Margie | December 26, 2011 | Reply

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