I say endure, because quite frankly, I'm appalled and quite weary of the whole business part of Christmas. Is it just me, or has it been an unseasonably and unreasonably long run up to it this year? I seem to remember the "buy now" frenzy actually started in October, before Thanksgiving
The merchants somehow managed to skillfully weave their strident sales pitches for Christmas buying around the need for huge eating orgies at Thanksgiving, without even breaking into a turkey trot. Their merciless, noisy, intrusive spiel interferes every few minutes on TV, regardless of what program you might be watching.
I remember the days when parents would lovingly and quickly put a hand over a child's ears to prevent them from hearing expletives, profanities or any other nonsense that came out of an adult's mouth. Now, the children see perfectly fine using their parent's lingo at the drop of a hat. What's quite startling is it's completely ignored by the parents. Just words they say, with amused, supercilious smiles at your objection.
Words Can Never Harm Me . . . Really?
Yesterday I watched, and listened as a mother and her daughter, about 4 years of age, did the rounds of the store I was in. The child used absolutely adult sentences, mostly starting them with "OMG, Mom!" as she went into raptures over everything she saw and desired and expected. That cart was filling up rapidly. And it was all plastic junk, no doubt destined for the landfill as soon as the little princess loses her love for the items.
Has childhood, that innocent, undemanding protected time in life, actually disappeared? Do you really think our children have no need of sheer simple joy? I'm asking, because this Christmas I'm not seeing too much of it.
Do children's demands diminish their ingenuity?
Some children, those whose parents were wise enough and not too impoverished, actually received an allowance each month. You knew it would have to cover all kinds of things, including Christmas gifts. So that was enough inspiration to manage your pitiful amount of cash.
If you were wise, you'd start early, making small things for each one in your family, swearing siblings into secrecy, taking advantage of times when you could work on these little gifts. They were quite primitive really, but whoever you gave them too would practically swoon with pleasure and gratitude.
One of my favorite gifts to give was a pencil holder. It was a recycled tall can, painted first, then layered with glue and rolled gently onto some macaroni, which stuck to it. Then you sprayed it with a glitter paint. It was a thing of beauty.
Left to themselves, children learn.
Children, left their own devices, will learn to become more skilled all the time. We never had 'how to" classes on anything. Instead, we could borrow library books and learn from them, step by step. I learned knitting, crochet, tatting, basketry, cooking, baking plus a host of other crafts just through focused reading and experimentation.
Fast forward to this Christmas, when you cannot even turn on a TV without being exposed to the not-so-subtle strident commercials with their bellowing demands to buy, buy, buy!
This is a time where families are still reeling from an economy that has left many homeless, despondent, afraid for themselves and their children. I was struck by two recent back to back TV commercials.
"The message of Christmas..."
In another, very young children are gyrating, wiggling their little hips, jumping around. No, they're not outside, playing, climbing trees. They're in front of the ubiquitous large screen TV, getting their electronic exercise, from adult gyrating programmers.
And before you jump on me, justifying this, I'm gonna tell you, yes, I think it's great they're getting exercise. But the sad part is that it's designed, programmed spoon fed exercise, with designed music. Should this be the way young children learn about body movement.?
There are two explicit messages in these commercials. One is that all families need and desire all the things featured; the car, the tablet, the clothes, the gaming system, the TV. And so it goes on, the cat and mouse game of selling, comparing, competition, buying, wrapping, ripping it open, and sometimes, a thank you. A pout if it isn't what is wanted.
I can't help but notice that many people who write on some sites get paid precious little for their efforts. A lot of them seem desperate from paycheck to paycheck, if the pay ever happens. I'm willing to bet many of those same people pull out the plastic for gifts this Christmas, and go further into depressing financial straits.
D'ya really think this is what Jesus would have wanted? Or is it just possible He may have been happier thinking you’re reaching out to others, and celebrating His memory by kind thoughts with a potluck family or friends dinner. And do you think tiny handmade gifts would be of greater value and closer to His heart
I hope you'll click over and give it a read. It's a fun article on a doggone special business in Sechelt, BC. (The doggone phrase was first employed by my friend Maria Jordan of marcoujor's musings, when she left a great comment at the end of the article. Thank you Maria for consistent support of indie-biz!)
And, you may or may not know that I write a tiny bubble (pun intended) on Bubblews most days.
Here are two recent ones, in event you'd like to pop over and give them a quick read.
1) Christmas Merry and Bright! Really?
2) A Christmas of Despair
Thank you for the visit today and see you back on Friday. Wishing you a wonderful week!