Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Charlie Brown would be Ashamed

I love Christmas, and hate it at the same time.  The crowded malls and shopping centers, the traffic, ugh--spare me, please.  I also don't like the mentality we have about Christmas.  All the buying and spending.  Do we really need gifts in first world America?  Is it really necessary, with all that we already have?

I love buying gifts.  I love acing it, and getting exactly what someone else wanted.  I enjoy this quite thoroughly.    If I didn't get any gifts this year, it would be okay by me.  Just let me write a check for someone who is less fortunate.  That's the most important part of Christmas, is it not?  What's the point in buying?  What's the point in spending vast amounts of money on things that don't last?  There is none.

I love fashion magazines.  The pages inside interest me, because--yes--I like clothes.  A little bit--okay, maybe a lot.  I really like boots and shoes.  But all the same, even I know that all of the things in my closet will get worn down, go out of fashion, or get eaten by moths.  I don't feel the nagging to buy anything lately.  It just seems like a tremendous waste.

I sponsor a child that lives on the other half of the world.  He runs and plays football (a.k.a. soccer in the rest of the world); he picks beans in his parents' garden.  He has seven other siblings, and his teachers label him "below average" in school.   But the child is ever grateful for my support, and now that he's able to write me in English, I am finding out more about his life.  He never complains, nor does he say that is in need.  He speaks with simplicity and a humble gratitude that is foreign to America and other industrialized countries.  The used and overly baggy clothes that he buys with Christmas money are listed in detail in an end-of-the-year letter he sends me.  He doesn't smile in his photo, but he always sounds optimistic.  He requests that I pray that he passes his exams.  I love him, and I should be more like him.  We all should.

We're are missing out on mounds of miracles and life lessons.  What does the average American live for anyway?   Charlie Brown thought it was bad in the 60s--man, he had no clue.