Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Wish for Christmas and the Coming New Year

Well, it’s that time of year again; the time of year when everyone’s nerves are frazzled, we have so much to do that it stresses us out and our bank accounts are wiped out. Sounds like the Christmas season is upon us again; a time of year that was once reserved for celebrating the birth of Jesus with friends and family. Somewhere along the way, that meaning has been lost even though every die-hard Christian I know still maintains that that is the purpose of the season while they selfishly consume everything in sight and stress out over what they will buy everyone. Never mind the fact that there are many people in this world who will receive nothing for Christmas this year and they will probably be the ones with the less stress and be happier for it when it is all said and done.

The saddest, grumpiest, meanest people are at their saddest, meanest and grumpiest this time of year. I don’t mean to sound like the Grinch, but I always thought Christmas was a time of happiness and joy. I do not see that when I am out and about watching people cursing at one another, shoving each other in lineups at the mall and cutting one another off and intersections to get to a 50% percent off sale before everyone else. It wasn’t always this bad. I know it wasn’t this bad when I was a kid which was not that long ago. I barely remember a single Christmas present I received as a child but I remember times spent with family and friends, driving around looking at Christmas lights and drinking hot chocolate while watching those classic holiday TV specials. Today it is all about the “gimme” generation who can never have enough when it comes to material items.

The selfishness and meanness going around this time of year makes me want to cancel Christmas. Again, I’m not meaning to sound like a Grinch but I can think of better ways to spend this holiday season. Jesus would be proud if his loyal followers spent his birthday in a way that benefits all of mankind and allows people to come together in a positive way? I’m not religious but I am aware that Christmas is a day meant to celebrate His birthday and I don’t know any Christians who have boycotted the mall or sang Happy Birthday for the holiday’s namesake. That is why I might go on strike next December. That’s right! I just might strike against Christmas. I’m striking against the needless consumption of items we don’t need while millions of children starve to death. I’m striking against the mall. I’m striking against the greedy corporations who have decided to cash out on people and this holiday that once had nothing to do with emptying out bank accounts. I’m striking against greed. And no I will not be standing outside the mall with a picket sign or going on a hunger strike; I will be spending the season doing things that matter like spending time with family and friends instead of wasting precious time waiting in line at the mall. I will be donating money to trusted charities that disperse food and other necessary items to people in need. Isn’t this what Jesus would want us to do. I don’t follow any particular religion but even I understand what this holiday is all about. Many people make fun of me and think I have gone mad when I tell them these things but it is me who will be laughing at them in the future when they are standing in long lineups at the mall to spend all their money on trivial items.

I get weird looks and unwanted opinions about my choice to not follow any particular religion. In fact, I don’t follow any religion at all and I don’t believe in the things that the bible or any other religious publication says. That is my opinion. I don’t call myself an atheist but that is what others would call me. I prefer not to label myself so I just live my life the way I want to live it. I don’t live it by a book; I live it by my heart and mind. I wake up each day and do the things I love, pull my weight and help others when they are in need. I do not steal, I do not hurt others, I do not break any laws or cause any problems for anyone; I just live a good clean life without praying to god every night that the starving children will be fed and the evils of this world will be stopped. I do not go to church and spend an hour praying for the troubles that be – since when does that do any good! But yet I still get people, almost daily, telling me that I am destined to burn in hell for eternity if I don’t change my ways. These same people are the ones who are selfishly standing in line at the mall spending their money on things they do not need in order to spoil their children into thinking that there is no suffering in the world. And I don’t believe in Hell anyway…if there is a Hell, I certainly don’t fit the description of someone who deserves to burn in it forever…except for the fact that I don’t spend hours on my knees mumbling prayers and telling others how bad they are for not being religious.

I guess by now you are wondering why I am getting on with such a rant so close to what should be the happiest day of the year. Well, that’s the thing. It SHOULD be the happiest day of the year but judging by the crabby faces and irritated drivers and people going broke from spending money on all these things they don’t need, it doesn’t seem very happy and cheerful to me. I also feel kind of guilty buying and accepting all these things I don’t need while there are wars and conflict going on in so many places. So many people are suffering and all we think about in the free world is how many more Ipods and Ipads we can accumulate. That is where my rant and I come in; My wish for Christmas and the New Year is for people to just relax and let go of this meaningless BS that is encompassing their lives. I’m not just talking about Christmas, I’m talking about throughout the entire year. Who cares how big your home is? Who cares what kind of car you drive? Who cares if your set of dishes don’t match or have a few cracks in them? Who cares if you don’t wear designer clothing? Who cares how much money you make? And who cares how much money you drop on your Christmas shopping or how tall your Christmas tree is or how many presents are underneath it? No one should care. What we should care about is what kind of world we are creating for future generations. We should care about the millions of people who suffer needlessly every day over nonsense that just shouldn’t be. It is possible for us all to get along. It is possible for us to be at peace. It is possible for everyone to be happy and have everything they need to survive. After all, wouldn’t this be the best birthday gift Jesus could ever ask for? That his loyal followers, who seem to have lost their way and no longer know the true meaning of Christmas, would finally just put aside their differences and help their fellow man and be at peace with one another in the world. Me? I want these things anyway. It has nothing to do with Jesus. I do not follow the bible or any religion; I do good because I want to do good and I see a world of possibilities for mankind in the future…now if only everyone else would see things the way I see it right now; together, we could put our energy into making this world a better place for each and every one of us; we could do a lot of good and turn our seriously misdirected society in the right direction before there is nothing left to save.

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