Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 16 → Someone or Something You Definitely Could Live Without.

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?
It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before:
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?

Dr. Seuss

Personally, I am sick and tired of commercialism and can certainly live without it.  Somewhere along the way, we have lost the true spirit of the Christmas season! Modern Christmas traditions and celebrations seem to be more focused on the material aspects of the season.  It seems that the  increased focus on material things has, unfortunately, paved the way for increased commercialism.  As a result, Christmas has become a season of commercials and indulgence rather than a season of comfort and joy.  It has, for many, become the most stressful time of the year.  

I remember when I was  a child, Halloween came first.  It was its own holiday, and didn't have to compete with anything else.  The stores were filled  with racks of Halloween costumes, masks, and candy corn.  Deciding on which character you were going to be was a major decision because  there were so many to choose from.  Then, after Halloween , the stores began to gear up for the next holiday....Thanksgiving.  Everything had turkeys on it...paper plates, cups, napkins, and even decorations.  Just the sight of it made a child's mouth water...and  the stores never did Christmas until Thanksgiving was over.  Wow, I remember how,  when the decorations finally DID go up, they meant something.  And it seemed like the day took  Each and every present was valued.

By the time I reached my 20's and 30's, things had started to change.  The Christmas items were then coming out a week or two  before Thanksgiving...and the Thanksgiving aisle was beginning to shrink.  Then when I hit 40's and 50's the stores were stocking up for Christmas the day after Halloween.  Forget Thanksgiving.  You're lucky is you can find a package of napkins with a turkey on it.  And, as a chocolate lover, I used to look forward to the day after Halloween when all the candy went on sale.  Well, in today's world, if you are not waiting at the door the moment they open their doors, you might as well forget it.  Because in the wink of eye the candy disappears and the Christmas decorations appear...that and the Christmas candy which, of course, will be overpriced.  After all, we have to pay for those pretty colored wrappers, don't we?

But this year?  This year really took the cake.  I got paid about two weeks before Halloween and  figured that while I had the money, let me go to the store while there were choices left for my Halloween costume.  Choice?  Did really I say choice?  There was one lousy aisle with a few masks and 3 different wigs.  Meanwhile, the shelves were lined with Christmas things.  What next?  Christmas in the summer?  

Commercialism has to go.  I, for one, can certainly life without it.  Just give me an old-fashioned Christmas any day.  

Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas.
All else is outward display--so much tinsel and decorations.
For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow.
It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow.
It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men
when the Christmas spirit returns again.



  1. A beautiful post Mary! I too can live without all of the commercialism, what ever happened to living in the moment? When I was growing up we didn't have a lot of money, but we did have a lot of fun. It seems that when there became more money, came more stuff and lots of stress. The holidays don't seem to bring the joy that they once did. Wishing you a beautiful day!


  2. Sad, but every word you wrote is true.
    Just knowing that little children still have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads was enough to lift my spirits.
    I'm grateful I woke up and looked around and saw a need for me to fill.
    Just hope these same children go to bed with full tummies in this land of PLENTY.

  3. Like you said, the sell-sell-sell keeps being moved up and up and up. 'Till it seems we may see Christmas stuff, right after 4th of July.

    But as you also said, you remember when it really meant something when the Christmas items came out.

    Another case of "killing the goose that laid the golden egg"? Push, push, push of commercialism, until they turn people off. Which is the very opposite effect, of what they want.


  4. If I ever manage to get off the Christmas treadmill, I'd love to follow a simple living tradition I read about once. You give only 3 gifts to a person: one you buy, one you hand-make, and one that is a gift to charity in that person's name. Simple and meaningful.

  5. Mary I couldn't agree with you more...which is why I am making most of my gifts for my grandchildren this year...they already know that Christmas is about family and love and I am proud of them for that. I've been busy as a beaver looking things over that I've collected over the years that they seem to be drawn to each time they come over so these will be repurposed and gifted to them to make them feel special and a part of me. Then my kids I made a photobook for some years ago, and if they want more family photos of the times growing up, they have to bring them to be filled with more each year. I think it is more significant to gift parts of us that we can't take with us anyway, while we are all still together, as nobody really knows what tomorrow may bring. That is a real gift of love to me. Good times with family and feeling that love...even dysfunctional families like mine..and we all have them, lol!
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom.