December 17, 2013
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yeah Right! Tell this to the shoppers that you pass in your local Walmart, or better yet, tell it to the people behind the cash registers or the stockers at that same Walmart and see what kind of response you get.
What happens to us as human beings around this time of year? It is supposed to be a wonderful time of year. Filled with the joy of family, friends, giving, receiving, and just general kindness. It’s supposed to be when families are able to gather and maybe have a big meal or just enjoy each other’s company. It’s supposed to be a time when we are able to give back to those who are less fortunate than we are. It’s supposed to be a time where we celebrate what we humans have deemed as the time when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was born. But somewhere along the way it seems that we have totally lost this joyful feeling and have turned into humans akin to the Grinch if not worse.
We have turned into a nation that “gives thanks” for what we have on a Thursday in November and by five pm that evening are running over each other in our local malls and Walmart to get the latest and greatest deal on things we don’t even need but we’re going to get because it’s on sale. We are a nation that has eighty-five year old women fighting to the bitter end to get this year’s Christmas teddy bears before they all sell out. We are a nation that has placed the value of “things” higher than the value of love, friendship, or human life in general. We are a nation that has sold its soul to the devil to get the newest iPhone and all the cool little gadgets that go with it. We are a nation that runs out and spends thousands of dollars on a credit card that we’ll never have any hope of paying off – personally and governmentally. And a nation where a mother goes and stabs people to death in a store to get a video game system for her kid because her little boy had to have the best on Christmas morning and she would do it again if she had to.
Do we not realize that these “things,” these video game systems and smart phones, fancy running shoes and $30 socks, iPads and Kindles, all of these “things” are just that, “Things?” There isn’t a one of those things that is absolutely going to 100% improve your life, make you a millionaire, put food on your table or that of your family’s, or make life truly worth living. None of these things that we put so much value upon can love us in return. None of these things can comfort us when we’re sad, rejoice with us when we’re happy, support us when we’re trying something new, or grant eternal live. When we die, all of these things will still be here or in dumpsters and landfills where most things end up. Those smart phones that are this year’s hottest item will be obsolete in two weeks after Christmas if they aren’t already. That game system will wind up in a heap of wires and controllers just like all the others before it in no time. Those $30 socks won’t be in style next week, so we’ll have to get different ones. Those fancy running shoes will eventually wear out or your kid will outgrow them in six weeks and you’ll have to throw them out or replace them. These things do not make someone a person of worth. I could have every one of these things and many, many more, plus all the money in the world and still, I might not be a person of any worth what so ever. When will we realize that worth is not a monetary value?
What is worth? Worth to me is offering a kind word to a haggard mother, who is struggling through a grocery store with three small, rambunctious kids while trying to buy enough food to feed them all with her very limited budget instead of being ugly to her about her children’s behavior or because they’re being kids and laughing or giggling through the store. Worth is saying “Thank You” to the little old man you pass in the store that is wearing a World War II hat instead of getting frustrated with him for taking longer in a line or holding us up as we rush through running over people. Worth is taking the time to appreciate the twinkle in the kid’s eyes as they enter a store and see all sorts of wonder and excitement this time of year instead of only seeing the bad and the sour and the ugly. Worth is saying “Thank you” to someone who opens a door for you or lets you go ahead of them in a checkout line. Worth is smiling at or waving at the person in the car near you who has motioned for you to pull out since you’ve been sitting in line waiting forever. Worth is saying “Excuse Me” if you bump into someone, get in someone’s way, or have to walk in front of them. Worth is saying “Please” or “No Thank You” if you’re asked by the clerk that is bagging your groceries, “do you want this is a bag?” Worth is a simple smile or a simple gesture that is given from your heard and directed toward others.
So during this time of year where we as a nation have valued “things” over human and money is more important than love and kindness please take time to ponder what simple things you could do to make this truly “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for yourself or for someone you don’t even know. Smile at someone that you pass in the store. I guarantee you, they’ll smile back. If they don’t, then smile at them the next time you pass them. Eventually that smile on your face will become infectious. Say a kind word to a worker in a store you’re in because goodness knows they’ve probably not seen much kindness during their shift. Drop some coins or what you’d spend on a caramel macchiato into one of the Salvation Army’s red kettles so someone else might be helped with it. Donate a toy to a toy drive. Enjoy time spent with family for no other reason than just being with them. Do something, anything, besides put all of your hope and all of your value in a thing this year. Remember what this season is supposed to be about and make it so for you and yours. This could be the most wonderful time of the year if we’d all make a little effort!
With that, I say to you all Merry Christmas! May God Bless you, everyone! And I do hope that is truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year for you all!