“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Who will you send Merry Christmas Wishes to this year?
Christmas has changed. Looking around the world, and down through the ages where the legends of Saint Nicholas and the various other Christmas figures began, we grew up with a romanticized view of Christmas. For some people, Christmas meant snow. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, it was intense heat. But always, the #Merry Christmas Wishes went out to people everywhere, mostly with a picture of a guy in a Santa Suit, en route from the North Pole with Reindeer pulling a sleigh of gifts for children all over the world.
Collecting the mail at Christmas time was exciting. Checking the mailbox to see who had sent Merry Christmas Wishes to you, seeing who had replied to your Merry Christmas Wishes to them, and perhaps a parcel arriving, wrapped with string and a little bow…. That one HAD to go under the tree, until Christmas morning…
Some homes and probably most, had Christmas Trees, the lucky ones had real trees, some had pine tree branches, others had store-bought trees, and all were decorated for the occasion.
So what happened to our Merry Christmas Wishes?
It seems that from when life sped up, computers made sending E-Cards easier and cheaper than the escalating cost of posting Christmas Cards, and the nuclear family scattered to all corners of the globe, that somewhere along the way, Merry Christmas Wishes lost their power and attraction.
Almost. Those who have not lost themselves in the commercialism of Christmas and who have a family to share the occasion with may still have it. However, a new type of Christmas Celebration has evolved; that of the Christmas Orphans. Here, you are a person or perhaps a couple alone for this wondrous day of the year, perhaps working or living away in a city remote from family, or you no longer have family. Your personal circumstances may not allow you to share Christmas Day with your birth family, for a variety of reasons, and your Merry Christmas Wishes have nowhere to go.
Then along came the Christmas Orphans parties. Here, people in these situations arrange their own parties, often strangers until the day, but quite often, friends afterwards. The parties are advertised either by venues, organisations, churches or individuals who want to host the party. Most people bring something to contribute, and it’s a great day. For some people, literally a life saver! Christmas alone can be a challenge for some.
But for those for whom this is Christmas and no matter how much they enjoy the Christmas Orphans parties, there is often regret, even some remorse, for the situations in their lives that has brought them to this moment, when they have no family nearby to share their Merry Christmas Wishes with.
I regret the passing of Christmas and the commercialism it has now become. Retail stores bank on the billions of dollars spent at Christmas time to shore up their balance sheets and make their profit and loss sheets acceptable, because consumer confidence around the world in recent years has been at an all-time low. The televisions blast their “spend big at Christmas Time” message at ever decreasing intervals during the rubbish programs broadcast by the TV stations, because this is not a TV Ratings period and they can get away with broadcasting the same “Christmas Specials” they have used for the last decade. I don’t know how many more times I can watch “The Griswalds”, “Polar Express”, “Uncle Buck” and the obligatory “Christmas Carols in the Park” broadcasts! Fireworks displays are in every town and village centre, sometimes in many places throughout cities and towns; the signage is out but the spirit feels low.
Yes, I regret not having the family experiences we had as children for our Christmas each year. We all have to grow up and create our own lives, I understand that. But I miss the old spirit of Merry Christmas Wishes I grew up with.
Christmas for me was always about sharing with my loved ones, not trying to buy their loyalty or affection. The Christmas Spirit, if it only comes out once a year, is a lie. If it takes an event of this magnitude for anyone to say to another “I Love You”, then they are lying too.
Is there anything about the spirit of Christmas that should NOT apply EVERY day of the year?
Yes, perhaps one thing and it is purely logistical. Christmas is a time of everyone gathering around to celebrate, but because we all have our own lives and homes, often separated from each other and from close family, we can’t see each other every day of the year. However, if the gift giving and all those feel-good feelings towards one another are reserved for just that one day, then perhaps the spirit of commercialisation of Christmas has won, and the Old Christmas Spirit has gone forever.
During your Christmas celebrations this year, take a step back and observe yourself. Are you expressing things to people that you would not share with them throughout the year? Why is that? Why can we not share these Merry Christmas Wishes type feelings every day of the year?
Will next year be different?
What will make 2014 a better year than 2013 was? What have you planned that will make the difference? Nothing yet? It’s getting late and certainly time to think about your New Years Resolutions, including something about the true Merry Christmas Wishes, and the spirit of Christmas of old, all year through!
I wish for you that the value of your presence to those you love is much greater than the value of your presents for them, and that the greatest gifts you share are those you have shared all year! I send you my Merry Christmas Wishes too!
If you have found value in this post, please share or reblog it to your friends too. Everyone deserves some true Christmas Spirit at least once a year!
Til next time, fair winds and full sails, and Merry Christmas Wishes!