Through most children's eyes Christmas is all about the gifts: how many, how big, and how much they cost... through business owner's eyes it's all about the consumers: how many customers, how much they buy, and how much they'll spend... and through some parent's eyes again it's about the same essential things: how many gifts for each child, how big can I make christmas this year, and how much is this going to put me back?
Coming from a family that was by no means rich...I never went without gifts. And somehow my parents always went over the top. Christmas Eve we always got to open one gift, and it was usually new pj's to wear for Christmas eve and morning. We always got some great gifts, but they took the opportunity to also give us the things we needed: shoes, socks, undies, and clothing...and then as we've gotten older it was tires for a new car, vacuum for the dorm, microwave for the dorm... but I always knew there was more to Christmas.
Looking back, I know the reason it always was over the top, is because I knew my parents did what they did out of love. Not to compensate for not being there for me as parents should, and not to compensate for being lousy absentee parents, but because they knew the best memories were those made with love as the primary influence. It wasn't that I got "THE" gift of the year, of course most years were indeed filled with very awesome gifts and always more than I asked for...but then again that isn't hard when all I asked for my seventh year was a surprise from Santa. I never was one to ask for much.
This year being the first year I will spend apart from my family, I have learned that it isn't the presents I will miss...I could have done away with those years ago, and I know Mom and Dad would have made it still special and fun...what I will miss most is the time with my family.
Making a new tradition, with a new family is exciting, and fun. I am now blessed with someone who loves me- a partner to spend these times with together and a child to show the real meaning of Christmas. The presents will only continue to put pressure on those who let it, and I refuse to let this holiday become tainted by consumerism. I know I am loved and that there are many that are loved in my life...buying them things doesn't prove that love. The only thing that can is to spend as much time with them throughout the year as possible...and to show them and tell them just how much they are loved- each and every day.