I can’t wait until they’re done. Every year, I lose a little more affection for this season. Usually, it’s the time of year when we are really strapped for cash and can’t get the kids all the things we want to buy them. Or gifts for each other, or our parents. At least this year, we aren’t alone in being mostly broke. It’s something our 11-year-old seems to be cool with – she understands, even if she doesn’t really like the situation. But she’s seen people worse off than us, so she knows it could be worse. A girl who goes to our daughter’s school is a good example. She and her two siblings are being raised by their grandparents. The grandmother was working at a hospital, and was laid off two months ago. Grandfather is a disabled Vietnam vet. He helps get money to feed the kids by begging. He’s a good man, I’ve met him and helped him out with some groceries. I want to do so much more.
I have seen people advertising in the Craigslist “wanted” section for help in getting presents for their kids this year. People who didn’t get on the Salvation Army’s list before the deadline. People who lost their jobs – so many, it’s sad. I’m almost to the point of starting a new tradition of giving – eliminate Santa, and teach my kids that this is the holiday where we all buy things to give to those who have nothing.
Before anyone goes off on me about the “true meaning of Christmas” being about the birth of a savior – save your breath. The birth occurred sometime in the summer. The star was a nova, science has figured out what it was and when it happened, and it was summer or close to summer. The “church” took it upon themselves to rob pagans of a very special celebration at the Winter Solstice. Yule included Children’s Day to honor our children, and to bring warmth, light and cheerfulness into the dark time of the year. I’m not sure what is demonic or satan-worshipping about that, so I’m stymied as to why the “church” stole the holiday. (I guess if you have kids who seem like devil spawn, then that would make sense.)
I used to love Christmas. It was easier to love when we had fewer bills and more money. It was even easier when I was a kid and didn’t have those stresses at all. But being an adult, being a parent, being far from family – all of those things conspire to change this holiday into a chore.
Okay, I’m done complaining.
(EDIT: http://www.shambhala.org/arts/fest/unconquered.html explains this season – I learned something once I read the whole page)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Fortunately, we all have a chance to make sure that our children learn something valuable about giving this time of year, so that poverty can be eliminated some day.