The Meaning Of This Particular Christmas
according to Geo and Murray
So I was out running errands today and got caught in the pre-Christmas shopping madness happening this time of year. Fortunately I was able to skirt around most of the crowds in the stores by knowing exactly what item I needed as well as it's exact location. Otherwise I would still be trapped in the quagmire (giggity giggity) of hypnotized, Zombie shoppers--which would have no doubt rendered me completely irritated and in an unfestive mood.
It got me thinking...there isn't a whole lot of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas yet the entire Western Culture insists on wasting nearly every minute standing in lines, fighting for the latest electronic gaming system and generally stressing out over whether 300 gifts are enough.
The way I see it, the real gift is your kindness towards others...your humor to lift a store clerk's spirit when she's having a bad day...your time to just be there for someone whether you know them or not. Sometimes all it takes is sitting next to a stranger on a random bench and letting them talk. Sometimes listening can be the greatest gift you can give somebody. That's what it's all about, Charlie Brown.
You know my one brother-in-law teases my side of the family for always talking to strangers when we're out. Why not? What else are you going to do while you're waiting in long check out lines, waiting for the bus or hanging out in an airport--get your bowels in an uproar? No thanks. I'd rather talk to people. Everybody has an interesting story.
Besides, we all have waaaaay too much crap.
In this spirit, Geo and I decided this year to do away with most of our material gift giving. Instead we're going to donate the money to charities like Kiva.org (a micro financing organization for third world countries--also listed on my side bar) and Heiffer International (to buy livestock for villages), as well as local charities like the food bank and my church which does a lot of great community work.
I know what you're thinking...Wha?!? She of the potty-mouth and lewd remarks goes to church? Yes. I have a strong spiritual side. Jesus loves me warts and all. It's in his contract. :D
Other than buying for the five youngsters in our family, we're going to hang out with friends and family during this festive season and be thankful for having them in our lives. Plus, we've started a new tradition where we each find the most hideous thing imaginable in our homes, wrap it up all purty-like and fight over them in a Yankee Swap. It is HI-LARIOUS!! The best part is when the games are all said and done, you can just throw it in the trash without any guilt.
Helping those less fortunate during these difficult economic times AND guilt free gift tossing, combined with several cocktails and holiday pudding shots...makes for a Happy Holiday indeed.
(Rhett Miller Concert Countdown: 4 days!!)