My real job is all about sales. I eat, sleep and breathe numbers that most people never consider, so as we enter the last shopping dash before the ever important and increasingly commercial Christmas holiday I wonder if most people even understand why presents are so important.
I hear so much talk from people about how their kids just want cash or gift cards. They’re not interested in presents. Or worse the conversation that is a vicious attack on an innocent giver, based on how much the receiver hates their gifts because their wish list wasn’t fulfilled to a tee. Forget that they may have received something amazing, thoughtful or ultimately expensive if it wasn’t the exact item on the list Christmas Day will be about Hell to pay as opposed to joyful togetherness. The long return lines after the holidays speak to the dislikes of the receivers. The panic, preholiday anxiety and overall disgruntled attitude of most shoppers speaks to the challenge of pleasing the ugly, narcissistic people on their list.
Remember when there was a time when we as Canadians, identifying as a Christian country, thought the reason for the season was Jesus. The purpose was to celebrate his birth and the end result was family and community coming together in celebration. Gifts were small tokens meant to convey respect and esteem. Hostess gifts were because food could be scarce and everyone added to the table keeping the burden of providing from being too much for the hosts, without embarrassing said hosts, in the form of a Holiday gift. Fast forward that clock to 2018. Jesus isn’t even acknowledged by more than half of our country; before the bigots jump on their band wagons or the extreme liberals take me to task, let me explain, it’s not the alternate religions that I see as the problem, it’s the total non-believers of anything that are the problem. The sad, selfish people that have nothing to celebrate because God isn’t anything more than an exclamation word used during sex or rage moments and their only attachment to spiritualism is their commitment to self, especially their bank balance and ever increasing brand named stuff pile. These people who can’t see beyond their own selfishness and who cannot imagine any scenario on Earth where they don’t come first have turned the Christmas Festivus into a glutton fest of self- entitlement. Worse yet these people are legally allowed to procreate and pass their ridiculousness on to the next generation. So now we have a selfish, sad world full of people who believe in their own greed and the power of the Kardashians without a clue of religion, community or quite honestly family, birthing and raising our country’s future. Christmas has become just one more occasion to overspend on thankless people and to cater to the demands of the undeserving. Gifts no longer speak to/of the person giving or receiving them, they are just another opportunity for social standing and an increase of self-importance. If your family has a tradition of handing out thousands of dollars at Christmas without passing out the love as well you are actually all cheating yourselves out of the true meaning and joy of the holidays. It’s ok not to be Christian. It’s great to celebrate your own beliefs; so if Jesus isn’t for you and yours why isn’t it possible for all of you to take the holiday time and celebrate what you do believe in. Why aren’t you creating and celebrating your own traditions, why aren’t you turning the government forced Christian holidays into your very own thing?
Imagine trading a Christmas you don’t believe in for re-constructed family time you do? Is it still full of overspending and struggling to please? Or can you imagine turning your back on all of it? Offer loved ones memories and good times spent instead of shoes that make their classmates envious. Teach them what it feels like to be loved from the heart not the wallet. How good does Christmas feel if everyone only stops to celebrate commercialism? I feel like this extreme commitment to self and no commitment or loyalty to others fuels the constant emptiness that people are trying to fill with their overspending and over the top gestures? Do you allow Black Friday and Boxing Day to add more to your family celebration than the family itself? Do you buy your loved ones things to convince them that you love them or do you out loud love them with actions and words?
Gifts are meant to show the receiver how you feel about them. They’re a token of love, gratitude, respect and should be thoughtful before being anything else. The cost is really irrelevant if the gift doesn’t speak to the relationship being celebrated. Gifts should illustrate the givers perceptions and understanding of the receiver. Gifts should bring people closer and create memories. Gifts shouldn’t bring joy to one side and certain financial or emotional ruin to the other.
As you are buying your gifts this year, take a minute out to wonder why you’re doing it; “because you have to” shouldn’t be the reason. Because you want to. Because it brings you joy and happiness to make your loved ones happy. Because the true gift is the love you feel when they open their gifts and squeal in delight, these are all good reasons. Then buy what you can afford and celebrate your beliefs while making each other the focus of the day. Respect that many still believe that Jesus is the reason. Live the day like it has meaning. Appreciate that for 24 hours the community you live in has stopped everything for celebration and celebrate every minute. Avoid the after Christmas return lines by giving gifts that cannot be returned, only remembered. There are 364 other days of the year to be greedy and need more stuff. Let this one day be about almost anything else.