Sunday, December 11, 2016

Held ransom by consumerism

Joyce Sasse, Spiritual Gleanings

Beware lest we be held ransom by consumerism this Christmas!

Already the tsunami of stuff is building in our stores, on the media, and with our expectations. It threatens to over-run our date books.

“Whose birthday is it anyway?” How would you really like the season to unfold if you were in charge of the details? Take charge!

On the issue of financing the holiday – I’m glad I grew up in a family who had to readily say “We can’t afford (this or that).” It made us work through what our needs were and where our values directed us … a gift that has lasted throughout my life.

On the issue of strong family traditions. There were the special foods we enjoyed because we didn’t have them at other times of the year. There were those from one side of the family who gathered for Christmas Day, while those from the other side spent New Year’s together.

There were those special happenings: like the school concert and the vesper service at Church. Also, there were the limitations. It wasn’t necessary for every organization to have a party in December. January and February beg for attention.

The book “Unplug the Christmas Machine” reminds us there are four things children (and a lot of adults) want most for Christmas. 1)A genuine and loving time with family. 2) Realistic expectations about gifts. 3) An evenly paced holiday season. 4) Strong family (and community) traditions.

It is true that the glitter can wear off toys and “stuff” long before the turkey is carved, but the spiritual gifts we share will last a life-time. Don’t be held ransom by consumerism.

“Tis a gift to be simple! Tis a gift to be free! Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be. And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘twill be in the valley of love and delight.”

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