Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Is Christmas Really About Love?

All too often we say one thing in life, but our actions depict something other than what we say.  Christmas may be very likely one of those things.  After all, if you people watch and observe for a few days, you will get a much different picture than what actually happens.

Most people claim Christmas is about love and joy and peace.  I would say that I would totally agree with that.  Yet, when we find things to disparage and put down in others and trample upon, are we really practicing love?  All you have to do is read the recent news headlines with a little objectivity to understand what I mean.

Most people claim that they give presents out of love and I believe many do.  Unfortunately, I also believe it is done out of a necessity (even if it is subconscious and we are unaware of it) to give the perfect gift.  If you don't believe me, try not buying gifts for everyone but maybe finding some small action that you can give them and see what the reaction is.  You might be surprised, and this may come with repercussions that you'd rather not have in your life.

I still go back to one big example in my family and I believe that many other families go through this, but none will admit it. 

When I was in college, I was struggling to financially make it through my last year.  I was working full time, going to school full time and had absolutely no financial assistance or aid from anyone.  Over the course of the year, I managed to save up $50.  While that may not sound like much, it was a great deal of money in those days and at that point in my life.

I took my $50 and went and bought presents for each member of my family although I was not able to spend much on each one.  I tried to find things that I thought they could use and appreciate.  I felt high on the world that I had managed to be able to buy them something.

When Christmas Day came, I proudly put my presents under the tree.  As everyone opened their gifts, I could see the facial reactions to what I had bought them and it wasn't good.  At the end of the present opening, I heard a statement made to me, "this is all you got for us".  It was made with such a hurtful feel to it.

I was devastated.  I wanted to pick up all the gifts I had bought them and return them to the store.  I wanted to run out of the house.  Instead I quietly fed upon the pain that was locked within me.  I felt hurt, angry, and shunned.  None of these people cared that it took all I could to buy them what I had.  I could have easily used that $50 for food to buy, but I sacrificed for Christmas.  This was not the only time in my life that I would hear this statement made to me once again.

It was then that I learned that while people may say Christmas is about love and not presents, that I truly learned this was not always the case.  Gift giving is anxiety for me.  I tend to not do it because of what happened.

Christmas should be more than mere words.  It should be action backed up by the words we speak.  It should come from a pure heart, not expecting anything from anyone and surely not expecting a certain level of gifts in exchange.  That is not love.  That is not Christmas.

So this year, I just want you to reflect on what the gifts mean and what your actions have said about your beliefs of Christmas.  Each of us has our own way of celebrating, but more importantly, each of us can either be honest with ourselves or we can continue acting in unconscious ways.

Blog Post And Images (c) 12/25/13 by Don Shetterly

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1 comment:

  1. Christmas is each day for me, it is always a nice day to do something kind. Christmas is celebrated as symbolic day to remember Jesus Christ, but we need to remember his good tasks and good deeds each day in our hearts, and remember our brother's great tasks he took on this earth with so many blind and asleep people. Each day is Christmas, to do something kind, to say something kind. We thank Jesus for being the person he was to make us once again to remember this. May our hearts be full of love and compassion to feel for our sisters and brothers on this earth, and may we remember this throughout the whole year. Blessings to you Don, you have done your share and continue to do so.






Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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