Christmas and the Path Less Travelled

Isn't it ironic that the one day annually that the majority of American businesses are closed is Christmas day? Technically, this is primarily a Christian holiday now. What about the other religions and holidays celebrated in our country? Why does time stop for this singular date and not out of respect for the rest?

The older I've gotten, the more everything has changed. The holidays are no longer a guaranteed family gathering. Television and internet have fueled the illogical obsession with retail shopping. Why does Christmas have to focus so much on presents? There was once a greater focus on time and presence. There were no fancy retail stores or online options for instant gratification. What happened to making presents or finding that one special thing to show value without being focused on the price tag or gifting something even fancier than last year?

For some reason, society has evolved to where if you don't supply your children with all the latest toys advertised on television or surround the tree with an oversized menagerie of presents, you're not a good parent and your children will suffer. Stupidity!! A child should not be raised to value the quantity of presents. Historically, most were handmade, useful and beautiful in ways most 'modern' children would throw over to the side with disdain in comparison to the current useless junk that will become obsolete in a few years. I am a mother, so of course I do my part to ensure my children have Christmas memories, but I strive to ensure they value presence over presents and to teach them to value time over money and possessions.

Imagine if all this shopping obsession was instead for those in need?

Imagine if all this shopping obsession was instead for those in need?

I prefer for my children to grow up humble, with an appreciation for what they have rather than being consumed by materialism. For in the end, once we die, most of our stuff becomes junk. Why do you think antiques hold such value? Most of these priceless items were built well and designed with the intention to last for generations. Retail options have now evolved to be so convenient that if you have the money, you can replace almost anything. The mindset now is replace rather than repair resulting in detrimental effects to our environment and future generations. Much of this being fueled by the busiest shopping season of all. Christmas.

This time of year is expected to be full of peace, love and magic. Yet, so many tend to fight over the last popular toy on the shelf. It annoys me the singular and selfish focus that makes many argue that their religion, tradition, heritage, sexuality or skin color makes them entitled to mistreat others based upon self-imposed superiority. This is America. US freakin A. We're a country that is quite proud, but pride in itself is not a good thing. With each generation, more have forgotten how we became America and that nearly all of us are from other countries with unique individual differences in culture, language and traditions. I've often argued with those who've even said to forget what was done to the Native Americans because that was generations ago. I replied that with that mindset, we should forget the cruel injustice of the nazi regime and the focus to create a superior race. Modern white supremacy still exists and it is a scary reality.

We are ALL human!!! You don't like someone's skin color? Did you know that you bleed the same, defecate the same, reproduce, love, hate and cry the same? You don't like watching a man kiss a man, well don't be nosey - it's not YOUR business. It's ironic how so many of the men who get so angry at gay guys existing have no issue watching women kiss. Another example is the unjust animosity towards other religions and languages. It's almost 2017. Not everyone is a freakin terrorist. Not everyone is a bad person. Not every religion is bad. Seriously!! There are good people and bad people of every religion, culture and skin tone. Just because a minority identifies with acts of cruelty doesn't mean the entire majority should be blamed, punished or assumed to be capable of the same acts or beliefs.

Never devalue someone just because of something someone else has done. Each of us are unique with our own beliefs and life is too damn short to allow such a reality. None of us like to be controlled, yet so many attempt to control others to be a cookie cutter rather than to embrace individual self-expression. Many hate tattoos and eccentric hair color choices, but were we blind, who would care?? Of course then we'd no longer have the desire to be a rainbow decorating a grey sky and the visual arts would sadly be lost. Horrible to consider a world without art. I digress. The point is, we've all wasted so many seconds, days and years of our short lives trying to please everyone else. There needs to be a greater balance between concern for others and being who we were born to be. Do what fuels your soul, inspires passion towards creative freedom and not what you feel is the best path taken to please another. Often, the less traveled path with the thorns and dark shadows has the greatest beauty at the end.  

With that said, I'm not attempting to ruin or devalue to holiday magic for anyone out there reading this. I'm frustrated with how much focus continues to be put on the retail value of what used to be a more social occasion with far less wasteful overconsumption. This season, be kind. Appreciate a hug/phone call more than a present. Be thankful for your family and friends, as not everyone will have the option of spending time with loved ones. Consider the homeless before throwing out leftovers. Also, please recycle. Thank you! :)