In the true spirit of the season we would all do well to not let the commercial focus eclipse the spiritual and social significance of the season. A focus on gratitude, service, and hospitality will surely keep us on the right track.
Unfortunately the holiday season has become heavily commercialized. I can’t help but remember the lady that was trampled to death on Black Friday last year. We are enticed, encouraged, and programmed to spend. But many just can’t afford the season. Did you forget about the record number of home foreclosures, double-digit unemployment rates, and skyrocketing health costs?
Remember the Less Fortunate
While you’re out shopping and being merry, remember the less fortunate. Some were barely hanging on before the season. Be sensitive when inviting people to holiday gatherings requiring gift exchanges this year. There may be some among you that would like to participate but can’t afford to take part the way others want and expect them too. And, the happier and more extravagant other people are around them, the more they are reminded of their circumstances and the unhappier they become. Some will give in and give a little so they can be part of the festivities so be careful to not harshly misjudge them as tightwads or stingy because they may have done the best that they could.
Respect Others Who Celebrate Even If You Don’t
Others are lonely and seeing everyone else with their families makes them feel even lonelier. For some this season holds spiritual significance, respect that. For others it is a cultural or social season, also respect the rights of these people. A few don’t believe in celebrating the season at all or may be too angry, too busy, or in a few rare cases, too selfish to experience or wish others the joy of the season. These unfortunate people find it harder to be jolly and happy during this season, or any season for that matter.
So in remembrance of the real significance of the season, show hospitality, show love, show respect, show friendship, show joy, show faith, and show appreciation. And, if you’re blessed with means, show a little generosity. That’s a virtue too.