I find it sad that the retail world has jumped on Christmas to the extent that it has. Honestly, Christmas decorations in stores in October? How sad. Stores trying to stay open all day on Thanksgiving Day? I am dead set against that. Thanksgiving is without a doubt the biggest family day of the year. The idea of pulling people away from their loved ones for the entire day is insane. Even opening at midnight is ludicrous. Retailers have the option of holding their crazy sales any time, not just on "Black Friday" or the days between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. To act the way retailers do diminishes the spirit of Christmas. To act the way consumers do on Black Friday diminishes what we are as human beings.
The spirit of Christmas, in my humble opinion, is about other people. The first Christmas, God gave the world his only Son. It was a gift of love. How Christmas evolved into the cluster-fuck it is today is beyond me (is it wrong to use that very useful phrase in this context? MJS - I know you would say no!). A gift, no matter how big or small is Christmas spirit. A gift from the heart is what counts. A child giving a parent a hand made card, or a plate of homemade cookies, in my eyes, is so much more appreciated than expensive gifts that take no thought.
In spite of my ranting of what Christmas has become, I still believe in the spirit of Christmas. I believe in doing for others, all year long, not just in December. A donation to a charity, raising money and walking in a fundraising walk, or volunteering some time in the community are all in keeping with what Christmas is about. So many have so much, and it takes so little effort to give back to those who do not have. The gift of love will be remembered long after the wrapping paper is thrown away....sorry, I mean recycled!
I still believe in Santa Claus. The spirit of Santa, that jolly old elf who travels the world on Christmas Eve, giving gifts to good girls and boys. Santa also gives the gift of love. It is love that brings Santa to our homes (along with cookies and milk!) Santa is love. What else would make a parent do the Santa thing? To see the eyes of a child on that magical morning after Santa came to their home makes the whole thing worthwhile. In years past, my children would make Santa small gifts and leave them with the cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. They were very happy to see that was most grateful for their gifts.
So often I hear, "I hate Christmas.." No, you don't. You may hate the commercialization of Christmas. You may hate the pressure put on by advertisements to by that "perfect" gift. You may also hate the "you have to have this" feeling put out by retailers. But to hate the spirit of Christmas? No, I'm not buying that.