Heart’s contents take precedent over material things

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

During this time of giving and sharing, it is important to be mindful of what is in the heart of those making an unselfish effort to make someone happy—if sometimes through nothing more than thoughtful words alone.

Make no mistake that it is always nice to give someone a gift to express your love for them, but not to the point of trying to compete against or overdo others who might not be as financially able to give as you may be. In other words, you find family members and close friends vying for special recognition from the recipients they have gifted over those whose presents may be less valuable than those of others. All too often the recipient of a gift may fall into the practice of over emphasizing one gift over another, making others feel their gifts were inadequate or unappreciated. This is a practice that is prevalent in many families. It causes tension and a sense of anxiety for some who may not be financially able to buy the things they feel their loved ones may want. To combat this dilemma, you find many people going into debt to buy gifts they know they cannot afford. They often spend the remainder of the year trying to play catch up, adding more to a never-ending debt. If we can get around the emphasis put on us as a society to show our love materialistically, we may be able to fully respect the purpose and true relevancy of the holidays and respect them for what they truly mean.

Man’s greed and passion for diluting and diverting the truth has made the holidays nothing more than a reason to spend money that many people do not have. The real purpose for the holiday is lost.

There are many people among us who feel that most holidays should offer a time for family and friends to come together and remember the relevancy of some particular event or person. This observance is only enhanced through celebration and food. One can never apologize for the opportunity to come together to tighten family and community bonds and educate the youth representing our future.

Many people feel we have diluted and diverted one of the most spiritual and meaningful holidays of the year, Christmas, from its true purpose all in the name of commercialism—making money. How did spending money and Santa Claus supersede Christ? Why isn’t Christ given as much attention as Santa Claus? We find adults as well as children inundated with a sense of receiving materialistic things? It is truly good to give if you can, but that should be an option, and not made to seem as if it is the main purpose of Christmas. Giving of your time and resources unselfishly is what really counts. However this endeavor should not affect you, bringing about depression and anxiety.

If giving gifts has taken on the main reason for Christmas in your immediate family, perhaps your family should practice not giving gifts to each other during Christmas and learn to embrace the festive and loving atmosphere of the season. However, if your family continues to practice gift giving, those receiving gifts should not parade around, especially on Christmas, promoting their most expensive gift as if it were a grand prize. Unfortunately, the main culprits seem to be some mothers who may consciously or unconsciously make their other children or family feel their gifts are unworthy or unappreciated. It sends a bad message to others in the family, i.e., the most expensive, materialistic object trumps everything else. This behavior defeats the whole purpose of Christmas: we were given the most precious gift of all, and it didn’t add up to dollars and cents. The true beauty of any gift is its intent from the heart. That is not always manifested materialistically. Let’s make a more realistic effort to celebrate and practice the true meaning of Christmas, as well as other holidays.