It IS the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it? That's what the Andy Williams’ song says. Just look at all the sparkly lights, trees, ornaments and 50% off sale signs. It's a buyer's market and we live in a consumer society, so get out there and do your duty. You're under pressure now, got to find that perfect gift for everyone on your list and you better not delay.
Folks are scrambling around town, horns blaring, cutting others off at the light, and slipping into that last parking space you've had your eye on for the past 15 minutes. Everyone is wired, because they have yet to get Uncle Willie's gift, and damn-it, that jerk just grabbed the last iPhone 4 case
with the built in bottle opener.... the last one in town!
Or perhaps you were lucky enough to score the perfect gift for Aunt Susie, who is a deep sleeper, with the flying alarm clock
, only to be told at check-out that your card was rejected -- over the limit. AGHHHH! You haven't even bought all the food needed for Christmas dinner yet!
STOP! Do you see where this is going? Yep, and each year it gets worse. As the clock ticks closer to the seasonal blitz, the misery mounts for many, taking away any good will towards men that may have survived from last year. And yet, is that really what this season is about?
The Christmas season is about unconditional love, undying hope and time with family, friends and loved ones. The three wise men weren't exhausting their camels running all across Bethlehem looking for just the right gift for that newborn baby lying in the manger, were they? No. After a long arduous journey, they offered what they had.
It's not what we give; it's how much we give..... of ourselves. Instead of shattering your credit card or emptying your wallet, why not give to others your most precious commodity -- time? This should be the season to give of yourself. No need to buy wrapping paper, ribbons and bows; your time is beautiful just the way it is!
Rather than giving money to charity, volunteer. Rather than give a gift card to a restaurant, take your friend to dinner. Rather than the latest iPad under the tree for your son, give a coupon to go shopping TOGETHER after Christmas. You may buy the same gift, but you get to do it together. And as for teaching about the spirit of the season, take your kids to serve food at a homeless kitchen.
A special friend who lives far away? No problem! Don't sit at the computer and shoot an email or text. Rather, pick up the phone and give them a call. Talk to each other; catch up and make it a point to visit next year. Friends and family in town?
Make a batch of cookies and wrap 'em up with a ribbon and give that as a gift. Or, deliver a simple gift to others personally and take the time to stop and chat while you're there. They'll be thrilled and wonder, "Where does he/she find the TIME?
Ahhh, the time. With technology you can accomplish so much more so much faster, so you should have plenty of free time.... yet you don't. Rather than enjoying your productivity to free up more face time with those you love, you choose to work electronically, in the evening or on weekends and embrace Facebook, Twitter and text to keep up virtually because it's oh-so-much-more 'efficient.'
Time is your most precious commodity in this life, and it's also your most precious gift to another. There's still over a week left in the holiday season, so ditch those last minute gift ideas and give the gift of yourself, instead. It's easier, faster and cheaper.... and I promise it will be so much more rewarding.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza and a joyous holiday season, coupled with a wonderful new year. Good will to all!