This time of year is special, so it shouldn't surprise me that when I put so much stock in celebrating goodness and light, I am setting myself up to be especially disappointed when I see the opposite. I recognize that I am sensitive, but I am seeing consumerism run out of control and take us far away from the underlying reasons for Christmas, (whether religious or not). It makes me sad and, honestly, repelled when I hear some of these complaints this time of year.
I have heard people asking for gift recommendations for friends/family, because everything they have chosen in years past has been unappreciated, unused or unwanted by some particularly difficult recipients. This makes me genuinely sad. The spirit of giving is obscured by a desire to please someone who wouldn't appreciate a gift, any gift. I can only imagine how hurt I would be if I tried to buy a family a gift they they mocked, scoffed at or ignored.
Now, our family exchanges presents, and we see our girls receive many gifts from grandparents, family and friends. This makes them extremely fortunate, and I am very grateful that we live in a situation where excess is more of a problem than scarcity, poverty or hunger.
There are so many reminders, if we really stop and look, about how rich we truly are. Not in presents, stuff, belongings, gadgets. I mean the unmeasurables. I just don't understand how this wonderful time of year, this time for inclusivity, spreading joy, helping those who can use a little support, giving, appreciating and loving, can become so obscured by people-pleasing, meeting demands and material emptiness. Not when there are so many greater, more enriching, more beautiful examples of Christmas spirit all around us.