Did you participate in the shopping frenzy of Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday or Cyber Monday? Are you still shopping for the holidays, buying gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or are you just trying to find those end of the year deals?
Does shopping make you stressed and worn out? Do you end up picking up whatever is available only to have something wrapped under the tree?
Maybe it is time to re-evaluate and set priorities that represent the true meaning of the holiday season.
Let us think about what we are buying‚ why we are buying it‚ and whether it provides value. In other words, gifting is fine, when done with care and thoughtfulness in the truest spirit of giving.
Henry Van Dyke’s poem, Keeping Christmas, was first published in 1924. Every Christmas season I bring out my worn copy of this poem to remind myself of the way I want to live my life. I encourage you to read the entire poem now. The following is an excerpt:
“Are you willing…
to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;
to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;
to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
to see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look beyond their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;
to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life;
to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness-
Are you willing to do these things even for a day?
Then you can keep Christmas.”
Henry Van Dyke
Think about your own values when you are shopping for others. Try to understand what those you love really want. It may be a helping hand, time together, or a handcrafted item ( by you or by a local artist).
Most of us don’t think much about our health until it is suddenly taken from us. At that point all we think about is, wanting to get it back. Health is a gift that we all want but do little to protect. Have you ever considered giving the gift of good health to a loved one? Think about it…