Remember the story of the couple who so loved one another that they each gave up their own greatest joy to be able to give the other what they most wanted. He sold his guitar so he could give her a precious hair clip for her beautiful long hair ... and she cut off her hair and sold it to be able to buy a case for his guitar. I don't remember the name of the story or book from whence that came, but the message was always quite clear to me.
Over the years I must admit I've become somewhat cynical about holidays in general. They have become more about commerce and less about meaning. I accept my own culpability in that...I became an active, if not so willing, participant in that erosion of meaning. Year after year there's been a rush to the malls, running up the charge cards that will take months to bring back to "normalcy". I'm not saying that it didn't give me joy to see faces light up when friends and loved ones opened their gifts, but something about all that simply didn't seem quite "right". It was simply too much about "stuff"!
This year more than any other in my lifetime (and that's a LOT of years) has been very difficult for so many people. I don't want to belabor what we are all hearing in the news, or seeing in our own households or with our families and friends, but there simply is no denying it. Our world has dramatically changed...little by little, day by day, human being by human being. All of a sudden there is much less emphasis of the "stuff" of the holiday season, and much more emphasis on the real "meaning" of the season.
Whatever our beliefs, whatever our faith, this is a season we identify with love, with sharing, with gratitude, with giving. But it seems to me that this year will take all of that and magnify it. This year, because so many are feeling so much, so deeply, and in a way that many have never experienced before, this year we can really "connect". This is the perfect time to reach out to one another and give what we can...not of "stuff", but rather of our time, of our attention, of our energies....of ourself! There are so many around us who have such great need ... and there are many among us who do as well!
What are your plans for this holiday season? What are the things that are important to you? Who are the important people in your world? How would you like to spend your time this holiday season? Why are those things important? There's no better time to answer than now!