The atmosphere is festive, carols blasting away in every shop to give that extra boost to the Christmas spirit and to the happy shoppers. Well decorated fake and real Christmas trees visible at every turn. Left, right and centre, Christmas adverts bombard us so we can be in the mood and spend more. Cooking programmes are in almost every channel going reminding us how to perfectly cook the Christmas bird. Brussel sprouts also get a good rating during this time!! There is no escaping we are all part of the festive season, a season to be jolly and spread a good cheer.
Some start Christmas shopping in August
The season has a way of bringing the best out of all of us, even the meanest of persons we think we know joins in the season of giving. The atmosphere appears different and I think smells different too. We all react. For some it is a knee-jerk reaction, and yet for the rest it is the norm. Those of us who are super organised, start ‘Christmas shopping’ around August, and yet the super organised do it during the famous January sales in time for the next Christmas.
Austerity! What austerity?
Money is spent like there is no tomorrow. ‘Unnecessary debt’ will be incurred all in the name of Christmas. Priorities will be discarded, after all it’s Christmas so let’s all spend and be jolly! Someone please pinch me, I thought we were ‘all in this together’ to quote the words of David Cameroon. Are we not in the austerity times or am I the only one still stuck in there? Couriers will cash at the influx of many a parcel to be delivered in time for Christmas
Many unwanted gifts will be bought, only to be passed on to charity shops, thrown up the loft or even taking residency inside a bin. I am not here to give a lecture on the real meaning of Christmas or how we ought to behave. Each to their own. If the truth be known, it is crystal clear Christmas has different meanings to different people.
The issue for us though folks is, is it all about presents? Presents play their part, but it would seem they now take precedence over our time for each other and the human touch and presence we all so need but don’t know how to give.
Lasting memories are made when people make and give time for people- the pleasure of presents soon fades away. Presence is more than just the physical. It is meeting people at their point of need, showing them there are valuable, listening to them, holding their hands, to assure them.
A present, with all intents and purpose, can never equate to that human presence.
Human presence shares those intimate moments and it lingers on. A present, good and well-intended can never give that. Am I saying we should do away with presents- NO. At least think about what really matters. Are you buying that present for a long lost relative because it has become routine, and really means nothing to you and bears no sentiments. Are you buying it because you feel under so much pressure to do so- seeing everyone has joined in the frenzy and you don’t want to be the odd one out. Are you buying it so it serves as an excuse for your absence both physically, emotionally and otherwise?
People long for our presence this festive season and beyond, not our presents!!! Fully give of yourself and see how you will be fulfilled and purposeful. When we fail to be available and make our presence count, a void engulfs our lives. If we fail to give of our time, we neglect the very purpose to which we exist.
Dare to be different this festive season? Give of your time and be fully present for others