Friday, December 08, 2006

Stopping Shopping at Christmas

An interesting view on Christmas shopping. In this article, the gentleman believe that if he had treated people with compassion, been honest and taken responsibility for his own actions, then he do not see the necessity to cap-off the year with some shiny bauble. I agree to his view to a certain extent. We should always be treating people around us with love and compassion throughout the whole year and not only during Christmas.

In this article, he mentioned about the Christmas Story, The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry and in his words, "... story always seemed deeply sad to me because it supposes that two people who adore one another are so insecure in their love that they have to prove it in the form of material objects." I believe that a lot of people out there do not give gifts because they are insecure in their love but they gave gifts because of love. The different is in the motive or notion for giving the gifts. Gift need not be something that is expensive. I remember a friend that loves to make his own gift. Not because he cannot afford to buy gift but rather he finds it more meaningful to make his own gift. And I believe he does not feel insecure of his love.

But I agree that love, compassion and giving should be shown throughout the year to people around us and not only on Christmas.

By Patrick Moore

In my experience, shopping and gift giving ruin Christmas. Not only do they cause incredible stress, the nicely wrapped present is often given to make up for not using The Principles during the rest of the year. If I have treated people with compassion, been honest, and taken responsibility for my own actions, I feel little need to cap-off the year with some shiny bauble. My actions should be evidence enough of my regard for you.

This also works the other way. Many of the people who love me are generous to a fault. While I am grateful for their gifts, I don't need a single one of them. In so many ways throughout the year, these people have supported, encouraged, and accepted me. Do I really need a watch or a sweater as further evidence of their love?

Perhaps some of you remember the O. Henry Christmas story, "The Gift of the Magi." In it, a poor husband and wife desperately want to give one another gifts at Christmas to demonstrate their love. The wife wants to give her husband an expensive fob chain to accessorize his prize possession - a gold watch that had belonged to his father and grandfather. To buy the chain, she cuts off and sells her beautiful long hair. On Christmas Eve, when she presents her husband with the gift, he reveals that he has sold the watch to buy her a set of jeweled, tortoise shell combs for her spectacular hair. Both hair and watch are gone, making the gifts all the more poignant.

The supposed lesson of the story is that the true gift that the couple gave one another was love. But the story always seemed deeply sad to me because it supposes that two people who adore one another are so insecure in their love that they have to prove it in the form of material objects.

I wonder how many poor but good people believe themselves to be failures during Christmas because they cannot afford extravagant gifts. On the other hand, I suspect many people who receive spectacular presents don't really enjoy them as much as they would like.

The material world crumbles into ruin. Objects - large and small, treasured and insignificant - break and are lost. Anything that can be held disappears. This, I think, is the sadness that I feel about gifts. No matter how thoughtful or precious those gifts are they can never compare to the love I give and receive.

Check out his blog: Patrick Moore

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