The phrase “Happy Holidays” has beenused so much over the last several weeks that frankly we are having a hard time remembering what exactly we are supposed to be celebrating.
It’s something you are almost expected to say when finishing a phone call, bidding a friend farewell or when signing the annual family letter.
You could say we should all be giving our attention to whatever name your chosen late December celebration is — Christmas or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, perhaps even Festivus — and the coming New Year.
Whatever the religion or reason behind the day, weeks or season, let us not forget the essence of this time of year.
Here’s how we like to think about it — if Thanksgiving is for giving thanks for who and what we have in our lives, now is the time to show it.
No, we’re not talking about the kind of “show it” demanded by Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any other invention of corporate America. Our culture of consumerism has ballooned into near sickening proportions.
The holidays shouldn’t be about who gets what, but rather who is giving what.
Remember how good it feels to give a gift to someone and see a genuine smile?
Remember how good it feels to not expect anything in return and be truly surprised?
If not, change.
We hope what you’re giving and getting this year truly brings joy and happiness at a basic level. We’re not naïve enough to believe that most of us wouldn’t delight in a new big screen TV, but remember the best gifts come from the heart and not the department store.
So this year, we’d encourage you to set aside the gifts, wrapping paper and the other usual Holiday wares.
Remember exactly why we’re here, where we are going and those people and things that make our lives special everyday.
Remember you’re not the only person in the world.
Remember that soon forgotten are the memories of what you received, but everlasting are memories of what you gave.
We spend the other 11 months of the year indulging in our creature comforts, selfish behavior and a consumer-based culture. Let’s look deeper and give what really matters — love, family, memories and cheer.
Perhaps what’s most important isn’t what is under the wrapping paper, but what’s in the heart.