Looking at Christian traditions, one might think that the Christmas holiday time was a once a year opportunity to truly exhibit a Christian spirit and to be in good company doing that.
Instead, people feed greed : good slogan, eh? Feed Greed for Christmas. They try to replace the spirit of Christmas with things.
Why not ask our children, “what would you most like for Christmas? One thing. One thing only. And understanding that Santa/parents may not be able to supply that one thing or may not be able to sustain it for you, e.g. a pony.
So a second option may be needed if the first request falls into one of the impossible categories (cost, maintenance etc).
The point is – choose One Thing you would like to have that Santa might be able to bring to you.
Instead of seeing a slew of less meaningful gifts under the Christmas tree, there might be the one thing you (child or not) would really like to have, could care for, could use, could cherish.
One year, for me, that was my first bicycle. It was a surprise and probably The Best Ever. It challenged me to master it, I had to take care of it, and it provided my first sense of freedom.
But the chances are that our children will not be challenged with choosing The One Thing, with facing the responsibilities of caring for a longed-for gift, and will face a slew of things that will be tossed aside, ignored, and last a short time. What for? So they can indulge in an exercise of instant gratification, never anticipating a treasured possibility, and plunge into a cycle of buying to fill a spiritual gap.
The spiritual gap. That’s what we’re really talking about. In many places, there is no such tradition of giving outrageously at Christmas time. How do they survive without having Christmas gifts raining down on them? They find joy in other ways.
Go out and buy, and wrap, and give to your heart’s delight. But understand that that is not what Christmas is about. Christmas is not about feeding an economy that harbors planned obsolescence and senseless purchases. Christmas is about honoring a spiritual tradition.
When people as a group honor the spirit of Christmas, you can feel it. You can feel the shift in focus onto loving thy neighbor, of tolerance and patience, at least at this one time of year. With any luck, those assets will continue on into a New Year.