As seasonal greetings go, it seems to be the most meaningless. People who complain about the commercialization of Christmas also talk of the amount they spend on gifts. Those who complain about losing the true meaning of Christmas spend more time shopping than they do with family, friends or at church.
If you think you need to change your focus at Christmas, here are some simple things you can do to “take back” Christmas.
- Make it yourself. Whether knitting or baking or woodworking, there are loads of ways that we can create gifts.
- Appreciate the gifts your children make. Get an early start on instilling the true value of the season.
- Connect with family and friends. Make time for those you have avoided or neglected throughout the year.
- Be a cheerful recipient. If your sister-in-law insists on cooking Christmas dinner; accept and say thank you. Christmas should not be a “me” time.
- Entertain neighbours and workmates, etc. We feel obligated to buy chocolates for all sorts of people. Instead, invite them over for dinner; organise a potluck supper; have a casual party.
- Speak up for the values of Christmas. Wish others a merry Christmas and peace on earth and do it sincerely.
- Donate to a charity in someone’s name. Instead of buying a gift, give that money where it is needed.
- Make gifts and care packages for those in need. Seniors, street people, those in hospital and many more could use something special at this time of year.
- Watch classic Christmas movies and television. Scrooge, A Charlie Brown Christmas and many others reinforce what Christmas is all about.
- Take some quiet time. Make Advent a season of preparation: mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Don’t cram your Calendar so full that you have no time for reflection.
Christmas is only as commercial as you make it. You choose what Christmas means to you. If you so choose, you can take back Christmas.