Now, I have just arrived in Thailand where I will be working for the next 7 weeks. It is my busiest time of year and means I will not be back to spend Xmas with my family. In fact, this year will be the 20th year I have been abroad and although I do feel a bit homesick on the 25th because I know all of my family are together, I am actually relieved to be away from it.
Well, for a start I have a sneaky suspicion that maybe, just maybe, Santa Claus doesn’t exist – (though my mother is still trying to convince me otherwise).
Secondly, Jesus. Now, great guy, loved his philosophy on life, just a bit of a shame western society has turned his teachings into an absolute farce. I mean, do you really think he would have supported the commercialism his birthday has turned into? It is exactly what he preached against! The man must be turning in his grave at how we celebrate his birthday (or spinning around in heaven somewhere – depending on your beliefs).
So, yes I will miss being with my family on Xmas day, but no, I won’t be missing the rest of the “Christmas Spirit”, that pushes us into buying useless bits of junk for people who don’t even want it.
Now, giving is a wonderful thing – but it should never be forced. Because when it is forced, like the presents we give at Xmas, the flowers we give on Valentine’s day or the chocolate we give at Easter, it does not truly come from the heart. It comes from a sense of duty pushed on us by the society we have been brought up in.
And what’s worse is that all of this junk we buy one another just ends up in a massive hole in the ground for our children to inherit.
If we must buy at all, I really think that we should just buy for people very close to us and of course the children.
And for the other people we care about, here is a thought:
How much better is it when you receive a gift from someone completely unexpected? A bunch of flowers given to you by your loved one because they were thinking of you all day? A surprise gift from a friend because they thought of you whilst out shopping one day? Treating a friend or work colleague to dinner, just because you enjoyed their company and wanted to show it to them somehow? Or even better, now and again – a few kind words to a loved one, friend or colleague just to let them know they are appreciated?
This is TRUE GIVING. A gift from the heart, without force or expectations.
Isn’t that so much better?