Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Define Necessity

There is a very powerful image making its way around the internet - and having made its way to me I felt I should share it and my thoughts.

In a season which should be about solemn anticipation of the joyous birth of the Christ Child, we often get caught up in the more worldly, consumerist achievements. Is my goal for Christmas to celebrate and share my faith? The share a day of love with my family and beloved friends? Or is my goal to "shop til I drop" and encourage wanton greed? To enter and win some sort of "best gift" contest?

Of course, none of us says, "Yes! I want my child to be greedy enough to ask endlessly for various toys and other products without thought to need, costs, etc" - but isn't that what we encourage when we ask for Christmas wish lists?

Did I really strike any balance when I required sifting thru older toys to donate to "poor children" each Advent season? Or when we together bought toys for our church's "Angel Tree"? Maybe...but was it enough to offset the continual barrage of "needs" inflicted by our popular culture?

My son may have learned that his Mom isn't a giver of stuff as much as a giver of time and love - but did he learn to expect the "stuff" from elsewhere?

This image really raised a lot of thoughts and feelings for me - ranging from a certain smug "well, I never..." to a very humbled "hmmm, have I ever...?".

And even though we already keep a simple Christmas, I am brainstorming new ways to share the Love and Joy of the season with those who don't have a lot of Love or Joy or Necessities in their lives.

What thoughts or feelings has this image brought to you?