Last night while I was busily preparing the 12am medication pass for my patients, I suddenly became aware that Christmas is just a litlle over a month away. I hate to admit it, but my heart began to race as I thought about everything I will need to accomplish before December 25th. Shopping and giftwrapping for all of my family and friends is a job in itself. Ashamedly, I realized how selfish I was being. I thought about the helpless people lying on their beds in the rooms next to me and what their thoughts must be regarding the holiday season. After all, they had already missed Thanksgiving dinner at home with their loved ones. They weren’t able to experience all of the hugs, kisses, laughter, and conversations with their family and friends that make it such a special day of the year.
As I sit and listen to my Mother tell her grandchildren stories about Christmas when she was a child, I look at how amazed and disbelieving their faces are. “How could Christmas have been any fun at all with one dress and a few pieces of fruit as your only gifts from Santa?” they asked. She just smiled, as if remembering, and said “We had each other and that was enough.” Oh how times have changed! Christmas isn’t about expressing genuine love and adoration anymore. We prove how much we love each other by buying ass many of the best and most expensive gifts we can get our hands on. After all of the hustle and bustle of preparation in the preceeding days, we are so stressed and tired, we can hardly enjoy the time we have with our loved ones on Christmas day. Many families go into debt and spend the next year working overtime to pay off credit cards or loans to pay for the occasion. In the end, we’ve traded more of the precious time we could spend at home with our spouse and children, for presents that are often broken or lost within a few days.
We should return to the true meaning of Christmas. Instead of exhausting ourselves and our funds, we should spend time together as families and help those who are less fortunate. To give a bright smile, a warm touch, or a kind word to those who are sick or bedridden, may prove to be a more satisfying Christmas experience for our families. Start a new Christmas tradition. Give the money that you might spend on items of no real significance to a charity of your choice. Instead of elbowing your way through overcrowded malls, bake cookies or make crafts to give away as gifts. The time spent with your family creating original gifts from your imagination is truly appreciated and less expensive. Starting this year, I’m going to do my part to make an effort to change the meaning of Christmas in my home, will you?
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