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As the holidays draw closer, shopping malls world wide become increasingly packed with each passing day. Money is being spent left right and centre as people rush to withdraw their wallets, cheques, and credit cards. All is well. After all, Santa Clause will be coming down the chimney in a matter of days, will he not? The wrapped up boxes, the gift cards, and the dozens upon dozens of bows sitting perfectly around the Christmas tree. Oh, what a holy jolly Christmas. All is calm on this Christmas night.
But is it? Is this really what the holiday season is all about?
As humans, we are naturally drawn towards the majority. Monkey see, monkey do. See two different paths? Better follow in the footsteps of the next 10 people ahead of you. Seems safer, right? If it's deciding whether or not to get the flu shot, or to go for the cheaper deal at your favourite grocery store, then the answer would be yes. But not in this case. If the next 10 people ahead of you are frantically pulling out their wallets as they obsess over the newest trends and hot topics this season, would you? Is this how you'd like to live?
Giving is meant to come from the heart, not just from the wallet. The newest gadgets are constantly coming out onto the market and being broadcasted to the rest of society. Suddenly, we’re not good enough if we don’t have the newest iPhone or the fanciest car. And what about all of the latest fashion trends? I mean, we can’t live without that latest leather jacket or real diamond earrings. Better add it to the Christmas list.
But why? What good will owning the latest version of something do other than fulfill a temporary desire? How will it improve our character? How will it develop our relationships? How will we build our skills and talents? Most often times, we won’t.
But should this really be the top priority? No. Spending time with loved ones and cherishing the experience is what matters. Laugh. Bring up funny stories that happened many years ago. Get caught up on whats happening in your sister’s life. Get to know your brother a little bit more. There’s dishes to do? Better help the parents clean up the kitchen, and turn on a couple of homemade movies while you’re at it. Love the people that are around you, not the objects. And if you give gifts, give with simplicity and good intention, not out of obligation or greed. Don’t do it just because the rest of the crowd is doing it. The people who are in your life are not just like everyone else, so treat them accordingly. Cherish your time with them. The holiday season is meant to be filled with love and laughter, not necessarily with gift cards and over priced wrapping paper.
So next time you head to the shopping mall and see all the flashing lights, jingle bells, and glittery sparkles, take a moment to remember what the holidays are all about. Don’t become blinded by what the rest of the crowd is doing. Choose the alternate path in which not many have traveled; the path towards genuine joyfulness and gratitude. And while you’re at it, grab hold of someone else and tag them along that path with you. Spread the word. Soon, you will be leading the crowd along the correct path to happiness. And with each of our lives’ being a limited time offer, we must learn how to cherish the holidays and the company that they bring while it’s happening. Live in the moment, and create many fond memories to share years ahead. Build upon your relationships. Give selflessly. Share your passion with others’, and listen to what theirs is. Help one another achieve it. Smile at strangers. Even if Santa does not come down the chimney with glimmering toys and shiny gadgets, the true meaning of Christmas still lives.
All is well.