In May 2008 I ranted about this Materialist American Gifting Holiday Obsession, but I seem to follow the same currents of thought, so here we go again! ;)
Since I posted that before Mother's Day 08, I have found that I do have more of a gift giving love language than I had before, or realized before. I like to give things to others. Especially if I find the perfect thing for that person! :) I like to make someone's day with a card for no reason, or a "I saw this and thought of you." I also do like to receive things, and had felt on certain occasions a little down when there seemed to be no thought put into me. (which was sad to realize after the rant before!)
I don't think gift giving is wrong, but I do question the motive and the elaborate obsession we seem to have with giving others things at the holidays. Sure that holiday giving spirit seems sweet, until people are trampled because the door busters on Black Friday sales just opened! Some spirit! No thanks!
And what of real needs that are not being met?
"I can't afford to take care of my family and an orphan in another country." Oh, but you *can* afford the Disney Vacation? The XBox 360? The latest and greatest I-pad? So you are ok with this person drinking water from a common, sewage rich, pond where livestock is washed, and cannot afford to do anything about it; while you drink bottled Fugi water and Google the-newest-desire-you-have on your I-pad?
You don't even have to go that far away! What about the under-dressed, under-fed in our own towns? Maybe they don't have raw animal filth in their water, but maybe they also don't have a jacket, or shoes that fit? Maybe they haven't eaten but once this week?
How can I justify spending hundreds of dollars on my already materially spoiled children, while another child dies from lack of basic life needs!?!
If we all just spent less this CHRISTmas on our own decadence, and put the rest of that usual spending toward charity, or toward a family you already know who is struggling... that's the kind of spirit I think would honor God and bless, truly bless, others.
~Exiting Soap Box~ for now ;)