Saturday, January 29, 2011

Commerce VS. Traditions

Commercialism. Commerce. Trade. Buying. Selling. Bait and switch. 

Whatever you call it, businesses survive because of it. They depend on our need to buy, and keep buying. At no other time of the year does this become more evident than starting the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday.  Now, it seems, that there is another 'Friday' that is being marked by rushing crowds, lower prices, and huge steals/deals.  While it doesn't technically have a moniker, it is hard to miss the fact that this day before Christmas many are rushing to the stores for those last minute gifts.  Maybe because they've stalled, maybe because life has been hectic enough that the days slipped passed, maybe for other reasons completely.
Hey, I know some of you out there like to shop last minute. All to you, my friend...but it's not for me.  ;)
Among all the shopping, cook, baking, cleaning, sleeping and exhaustion what should be a time to slow down, has speed up. What should be a time to spend with family togetherness, seems to be a time of obligations, multiple parties, forcing smiles, gathering with people you'd prefer not too.  All in the holiday spirit.
This year has been going too fast for me. Speeding by when I'd prefer it to slow down, or even go back in time. I had a few ideas for Christmas but now with it upon me, I haven't done them. I will save them for next year. I will save them for our new traditions.
It has struck me this year, that Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of Christs birth. It's a birthday party. So why don't I give gifts to the birthday 'boy'?  A few blogs I follow seemed to be thinking along the same lines this year. Some have asked their readers to join in their endeavorer to help those that need help this year. One blogger caught my eye...and this is why.
Every year, they exchange gifts like the rest of us. But for one obvious change. They do it on Thanksgiving instead. Thanksgiving is a time when people focus on being thankful for the things they have in life, the people who have walked in, or out, of their lives, etc. Doesn't it make more sense to give special gifts at this time? Doing so, frees you, or I, up to focus on those that need help throughout the rest of the holiday season. Doesn't this seem like a good idea?
Next year...I am hoping to set this idea into motion in my small circle. To focus on others more often than I focus on myself. To give thanks, every day, for what I have, what I've lost, and what I've gained. Yes...even what I've lost.
I would not be who I am today, without Michael. I would not be who I'm made to be, without his small preciousness influencing me.
This year, and next...lets remember to slow down. Smell the holly and pine trees. Enjoy the flavor of your season in it's fullest. Hold those dear to you closer, and remember with smiles those whom you've lost.
Merry Christmas, my dear friends. May it bless you to be with your family and friends today and tomorrow. May the sounds of toddlers in wrapping paper, animals licking small fingers and the laughter of your favorite person ring in your ears. May the smell of family cooking fill your nose. May your heart fill with gladness, joy and hope for a new year.

In His hands,

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