T’is the season to be grateful and $ensible – By Yvonne Sam

T’is the season to be grateful and $ensible.

By Yvonne Sam

We need to recall the joys of Christmases because of the celebration of life, family and community, not Xmas trees, shop-till- you-drop sprees and gargantuan feasts. 

Yes, right after Halloween the buildup and conversion began, with tinsel and glitter replacing masks and costumes, and store circulars becoming much thicker due to longer advertising inserts. Buy! Buy! Buy! The recommendations are almost hypnotic. Merchants have become far more aggressive in trying to separate consumers from their dollars, as humans once again endeavor to bring to mind the reason for the season.     

Let us face facts—Christmas is a season that is equally loved by many as it is hated by just as many. Nevertheless, irrespective of which side of the issue you fall on, this much holds true, that Christmas season is a time replete with many mixed messages and misconceptions. To many it is all about money, commercialism and greed. For others it is a time for parties, meals and get-togethers, while most children have come to know Christmas as a time when Santa comes from the North Pole transported by Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.Lingering doubts still exist as to the true meaning of the season. However let this be heard far and near, and resoundingly loud and clear, that this is the season to be sensible.

What then is the answer to help us recall the reason for the season while recapturing the true essence? Why not, instead, consider the meaning of holidays, holy days.We need to recall the joys of Christmases and the celebration of life, family and community, not Xmas trees, shop-till- you-drop sprees and gargantuan feasts.  It is time to bring back the fundamentals and the basics, and turn our attention to the simple things in life.

The season gives us moments to bolster our bonds with family, and demonstrate thanks for all the things (both great and small) that we take for granted. It also serves as a notice to make the most of what we have, and rather than focus on what we lack, instead look at ways on which we can build from our blessings.

Once again,the holidays also reminds us that our most pleasant and joyous memories do not have to be tied to expensive gifts and lavish meals. Having a good time can be as low cost and easy as having friends over for a potluck supper or renting a movie. Let the focus be on developing the inner resources that you will always have in great supply like friendship, compassion and personal talents.

Giving also has its own rewards. Sad but somewhat true, during this season some of us become fixated on our own have-nots, due to our being constantly barraged by consumerists ads andimages. Assisting the marginalized and the less fortunate could go a long way towards clearing our minds of these distractions thereby bringing into focus our core values and priorities. This spirit of giving can be further extended beyond the holidays by taking advantage of year-round volunteer opportunities, or organizations that give back to the community.

In conclusion the holidays acknowledge the central importance of our relationship with loved ones. Let it not be lightly dismissed but our individual well-being and prosperity is directly dependent on the strength of our personal support network and our community at large. In the absence of their support none of us would be able to realize true wealth. Revel in your interdependence with others, especially family and friends for they are the most important assets you will ever have.

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