It's instructive how just one season away from lusting after material things can break the habit. It's something like liberation from an addiction or lifestyle choice. Being away from it can cause one to realize the behavior is neither missed nor needed for fulfillment and enjoyment. Absenting oneself from this faux Christmas might bring a conversion to its real meaning and free a family from its dependency on material things.
There are many charities and churches that have contacts with the homeless and poor, and especially the elderly and lonely. Did you ever sing songs to older people at a nursing home and see the expressions on their faces, not to mention feeling a warmth in your own heart? Ever give a gift to someone you know can't afford to reciprocate and suddenly realize that you have already received a greater gift that can never become obsolete, worn out or devalued?
The richer we become, the more difficult it is to buy something someone actually needs. Retailers say that the purchase of luxury items will increase sharply this month. Not everyone can afford diamonds and cars as gifts, but the poor and needy we will always have with us.
I love the original Christmas. I have come to detest the masquerade that does not even pretend to be what it was when I was growing up. That other Christmas I intend to keep. This monstrosity I will try with increasing difficulty to ignore.
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