The commercials and movies are in full swing - have been since last month, before the turkey had even been purchased, much less digested.
We are in a deep recession - one of the gravest in many years. One would not know this were one to judge from the commercials for new Lexus SUV's, diamonds, toys, toys, toys, clothes and more, more, more. Buy now and pay later. I say buy Local First - keep the tax dollars in the community and support a locally owned business - they do give back more than the average big box retailer and if you buy a gift certificate this year from a local merchant, they will be around next year for it to be redeemed, unlike many big box stores - please bear that in mind as you shop this season.
This is a time of year where there should be perpetual hope. A love of God and all mankind. A belief again in angels and the miracle of the Christ child.
I am a believer in angels, the Christ child, miracles, Christmas movies, choirs, the Tree at Rockefeller Center, storefronts decorated with dazzling displays. This year is no different for me. I am maintaining my perspective. I am downsizing my giving for my immediate family - that means holiday cards with memories for my sons, instead of the usual money, gift certificate or clothes.
It is a miracle that I am going to spend Christmas with two of my four sons at all - a dear friend has given me a buddy pass to fly standby so I will have a glorious week spending time with my 11 year old whom I have not seen for over 2 years with all the changes in my life.
It will be wonderful to remind him of the family traditions - baking cookies for neighbors and friends, going to midnight mass, atttending worship services at the local Mormon church (he is Mormon and I am not) - remembering to be thankful, perhaps finding a group where we can volunteer time and deliver meals or serve meals to homeless and/or shut-ins as his brothers have done in years past.
I am cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Less is certainly more.