Retail employees balk at having to give up precious family time on a traditional holiday to come to work. And I don't blame them! Frantic shoppers line up for hours, even days, for a coveted spot in line; just to have the opportunity to grab whatever marketers have deemed to be the "it" gift. But this year, employees have planned a staged strike, and Big Retailers are threatening action by the courts. All for the sake of the Almighty Dollar. So much for the Season of Good Tidings!
Is it just a symbol of our gluttonous culture? Where our greed and instant gratification meet our self-indulgence and materialism? For whatever reason, we have devolved into this chaos and most unholiday-like spirit, and it grieves me. There is nothing sentimental or nostalgic about this ugliness.
You would think in these dark economic times, that people would return to simpler and more genuine expressions of the holidays; that we would recognize that spending money we don't have is not a substitute for the things that really matter --- like making family memories, serving others and revitalizing our relationships with our fellow man and our God. When we lose these traditions, we lose our humanity.
No, you won't find me in the rush that storms the doors and elbows their way down the aisles, pushing and shoving and fighting their way to the prize. Call me old-fashioned or illogical, but PLW and I are evolving towards a more spiritual celebration of the holidays. I find no joy or value in buying "things" just because it is expected. As Americans, we all have too much "stuff" anyway! I would rather receive one thing that was made or purchased with love, than mounds of gifts that were bought without thought or care. I would rather spend whatever precious time I have, with friends and family and really give something of value ... sharing of ourselves; listening to our hopes and dreams; and planning our futures. I know this sounds unfashionable and downright corny, but it's where I'm at these days. I'm tired of marketing and materialism and mayhem. Give me authentic demonstrations of our humanity; a show of brotherly love, compassion, charity, goodness and consideration. Those are gifts that will never be returned. That's the holiday season I want to celebrate.
Luke 12:15 Then he [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”