'tis the season to...want

it's not even thanksgiving, and christmas is already being marketed in stores and television. it's not even thanksgiving. did i say that already?

i love christmas. i love the smells, sounds and flavors of the holiday...and all those sugar cookies and snowballs (a.k.a. russian teacakes)! and i especially love what christmas stands for...hope. hope in a little baby. hope that this little baby will grow up to become king. to selflessly and willingly give up his own life to rescue ours.

luke 2:8-14

but, let's get back to reality. advertisers and marketers will tell you (in their sneaky and subliminal ways) that christmas is a time to buy, buy, buy! heck, every possible holiday in the states is marketed as a time to buy, buy, buy. but christmas beats them all. what other time of year do big stores come out with book-like catalogs FULL of toys and gadgets you NEED? tyler has spent everyday since the target christmas toy book (er, catalog) came out scanning through each page. any other day, he'd be happy flipping through pages of his books or magazines (actual reading material). how are parents supposed to teach their kids not to be selfish, or greedy, and to think of others when they are bombarded with messages that tell them you need this for you? let me give you an example...

tyler: when do you think i can start getting an allowance?
me: well...once you start showing consistency in meeting
all of your current responsibilities then maybe we
can consider an allowance.
tyler: but i already do a lot of stuff.
me: like what?
tyler: putting dishes away, taking out the trash...
me: (let me just point out he listed 2 things as doing a lot of stuff)
we've had this conversation before...you shouldn't
expect to get paid for doing chores around the house.
as a family, we work as a team. basic household
chores are something we all contribute to as a family.
if you do something out of the ordinary, like spend a
day cleaning out and organizing the garage, then of
course we would consider paying you. but you shouldn't
always expect to get something in return just for helping
us or anybody else out.
tyler: but how am i supposed to make money to get stuff for me?

need i go on? he's not like this year round. it's really only around christmas (the season of getting) that we always have to work with him in remembering what's truly important.

it's easy to buy into all that marketing. even i'm guilty of it sometimes. i really have all i need. really. i'm not living in squalor. i have warm clothes when it's cold. i don't ever go hungry (unless it's by choice). and most of all, i have my family. everything else is not a necessity. it can wait. or, i don't have to have it at all. but it's so easy to convince yourself that, yes, you DO need another pair of shoes. or you DO need that accessory that you've already gone without for the past however many years.

i'm not opposed to buying stuff. but it frustrates me when almost everything is turned into something to market. on the bright side, the holidays (thanks to the media) also bring attention to people who are not as blessed as we are. thanksgiving drives, toys for tots, coat drives...all wonderful examples of how the holiday season can be more about providing for others in less fortunate situations.

let's make the holiday season a true season of giving. not the giving of more fancy, "must-have" stuff. but by giving our love and our kindness to those who do not enjoy the same luxuries and comforts as we do. or perhaps, giving a simple gift to someone we love that truly comes from the heart.


RobertStockham said...

Beautiful sentiments indeed! In fact in our family, it has gotten harder and harder to give each other gifts, as we have so much already. Thus, we give nothing at all. We spend time together instead. I know that I am not doing my part to stimulate the economy, but our buying is kept to a minimum.

RobertStockham said...

Just saw this site: right in line with what you are saying: http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/11/11/gift-ideas-for-kids-craft-your-holiday-season/

Prasti said...

thanks! great ideas and so simple!

on the same site i just came across the article about the stick. it made me laugh...but so true :).

Simply Stork said...

wonderful post...simple sounds good to me :o)


(charlie brown is our favorite)

Tabitha Blue said...

I completely agree. Sometimes those messages are hard to compete with, but I think the effort is truly worth it! :)

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