Wha-bam! I’m not sure how it happened, but we’re like two weeks away from Christmas. (The only holiday that gets recognized because of the amount of cash it moves.) Some may say they’re trying to keep "Christ" in Christmas, but I say Xmas because "X" marks the spot where you leave behind your credit cards and checkbooks. Yes, I have lost my faith, and this holiday has turned into nothing more than a marketing affair where commerce is king. That’s not to say that there aren’t those who truly believe that Christmas is about family and friends; those are the people I think still get it. But overall, once again, with a few more holiday stampedes on Black Friday, I have lost a little more faith in the human race. Now, I have no intention of getting off on some tangent about religion and its role in the holidays, but I will say this -- there seems to be a lot of unreligious behavior around the holidays, be it during the act of commerce or the inability to recognize someone else’s faith. Whatever you celebrate should be respected, and if a religion forbids you from respecting it, then, really, what kind of religion could it be?
Anyway, back to my original point. Let’s talk about the holidays, and my definition, which is as follows -- holidays should be about family and friends, food and drink, gatherings and laughs, thankfulness and generosity, and tokens of appreciation (OK, presents) for having successfully guided yourself through another year.
I’m not gonna lie, I like receiving a nice gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be cool. What’s cool to me? Gear! Anything that has to do with my interests: Triathlons, golf, basically sports related things. Having said that, I would forego the "token" if it meant someone else who wasn’t in the position to give might be able to receive (because, truth be told, if I want something, I can just go get it. Not everybody is fortunate in those regards). I do believe in giving before you receive. It really helps you appreciate what you receive.
For years now, my wife and I have purchased gifts for children who otherwise would not receive them. We don’t do it because we’re trying to get into heaven; we do it because it’s the right thing to do and we’re in a position to do so. Bottom line, holidays and gifts are for the kids. Sure,there are certain aspects of the holidays that are for the adults. For instance, the office Christmas party and photocopying your butt on the company copier (see food and drink and gatherings and laughs), because let’s face it, at the end of the day, no kid is dumb enough to pull down their pants and sit on glass!
I really do like the holidays and what my definition is (and I think that my vision is shared by most of you). If we can just take the pressure out of it, then I really think we can all use this time of the year for what it’s meant for and that’s decompressing from the previous eleven-and-a-half months. So if I were going to leave you with one thing to think about this week it would be this: Holidays are hard enough -- don’t make them harder by being stressed out. I know, I know ... easier said than done. But if you try, the mere effort will bring you a little more happiness. So in the true spirit of the holidays, let me leave you with my favorite thing to say: What the Hell is Up with that?