By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
Christmas is supposed to be a time for love, joy and being with the people who mean the most, but unfortunately, it’s become a time of stress and frustration for many. It doesn’t have to be this way, but to change anything about it will require us to change how we see it.
I don’t discourage getting gifts, but perhaps we should be aware of why we do it. When we are, we’ll see that the consumerism is out of hand and people have forgotten the holiday’s true intention.
It’s ingrained into our culture that the only way to show someone you love them on Christmas is to buy that perfect gift, no matter how expensive, but this isn’t what the holiday is meant to represent.
Ignoring for this post the apparent connection between Christmas and magic mushrooms, it’s generally supposed to be about love, family and giving.
Its intention should be to bring people together without the need for expensive gifts, and we can achieve this by changing our mindset and what we do during the holiday season.
For example: How many people have the thought to give a homemade gift instead of buying one?
It might sound silly or pointless, but to me, a gift like that means more because someone actually took the time to make it. They put their heart and soul into it instead of just going out and buying something, and it shows that they really care.
It’s easy to buy something if you have money, but it’s more meaningful to give from the heart. This is what the holiday should really be about, and the sooner we understand this, the sooner we can make a change.
The solution to the rampant consumerism that’s taken over the holiday season is to just love each other without the need for material things that falsely confirm our love.
You can get someone a thoughtful holiday gift but still be nasty toward them, and thoughtfulness doesn’t mean much if it only happens once a year.
It’s similar to going to church once a year (or once a week) but failing to be a vessel for God’s unconditional love, which is what Jesus truly taught.
It doesn’t matter how well we live up to an obligation to give once a year; what matters is the love or lack thereof that we give to the world in every moment. It’s fine to think about our loved ones during the holidays, but what if we did it all year long?
What if we gave more time, energy and attention to our loved ones throughout the year instead of saving it for certain times we think are more important? We’ll wish we had when we look back on life and realize how much we missed and how much we could’ve done.
If people are willing to be somewhat selfless around Christmas, what stops them from expanding that and caring all the time?
In my opinion, helping each other is the only way we can change the world or collectively evolve, and I might have to give this reminder every year around this time in hopes that one day, people open their eyes and see what so many of us have been saying.
The funny thing is that I won’t just encourage unity and selflessness once a year, and I’ll advocate them as long as I live. We don’t need a reason to encourage people to come together, just like we don’t need a reason to show our loved ones we care.
We can do it out of pure kindness, and I can’t think of a better way to show our love and appreciation.
Lastly, we can’t come together or even care more about our loved ones if we fail to understand that we’re all one. This is important because we can put ourselves in others’ shoes when we realize that there’s no difference between us and them.
We can live their pain as if it was our own, and we can do the same with their joy.
If we can do this with our loved ones, we’ll be driven to help them in any way we can because we’ll want their happiness as much as our own. We’ll have to set limits and be careful not to exhaust ourselves, but the important thing is that we’ll care.
Christmas can happen all year long in the sense of caring about each other throughout the year as much as we do during the holidays, and we’ll all feel noticeably better when we start helping each other.
I hope this post encourages a lifestyle of love and selflessness, because it’s one of few things that can heal the world.
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