I am saddened when I see society's ever-increasing emphasis on Christmas presents, and the long lines and battles at department stores over that year's "hot" Christmas toy - be it the Play Station 3, Tickle Me Elmo, Cabbage Patch Kids, good old Barbie, or "big kid toys" like CD and DVD players, HDTV, I-Pods, BMWs...
My personal belief, as well as that of millions of others around the world, is that mankind (and yes- "womankind, " too) received the greatest gift of all time at the very first Christmas - and it seems like people have been trying to top that gift ever since. Guess what, people? It ain't gonna happen.
This Christmas, instead of spending all your time and hard-earned money giving your loved ones the presents they think they need - give them your presence instead. Get together with your family - be it your nuclear family, your extended family, or both - and enjoy each other's company. In coming years, the opportunities for such gatherings will become less frequent and harder to schedule - so enjoy each other's company while you can.
I'm certainly not suggesting you all quit buying "stuff." But you certainly don't have to buy it all at Christmas time - anymore than you have to buy all your kids' "back-to-school clothes" when it's time to go back to school. Spread it out a little bit - provide your loved ones with the things they need, of course - such as food, shelter, and clothing (and not necessarily the most expensive or trendy of each of these necessities) -and - once in awhile, throughout the year, when you can afford it - the things they want.
Three more things before I close this rant -
1) Unexpected gifts are always nice
2) Shop locally, supporting your community merchants; and
3) If it is your belief, celebrate "the reason for the season" this month.
Season's Greetings from Biittner -