Friday, November 26, 2010

The Gift Of Gratitude

Today is known as Black Friday what it should be known as is the Debt Black Hole Friday. It is the day when normally sane people go crazy. I mean what do you call people who line up days in advance just so they can buy the latest gadget. When did Christmas become fighting to get something that will be forgotten soon after the package is opened? Gratitude is no longer a part of the holiday.

Christmas used to be know as Christ’s birthday now it is known for Santa Claus and who can out shop everyone. I remember when I was a kid getting one big gift that my brother and I would share and then a couple of small gifts. I was happy with what I got. It was called gratitude. Whatever happened to that? Now, if a kid doesn’t get all he or she wants, they are ready to call authorities to complain of being abused and neglected. The sad part, some parents would rather go into debt than explaining to their kids that Christmas will be lighter this year. On a local news show they were interviewing people who were having financial problems. One couple said they didn’t know how they were going to keep their home but they were going to give their kids a big Christmas. To me, their priorities are way off. Keeping the home is more important than the latest Wii game.

If you honestly think about it, what do you remember most about Christmas? Do you remember the gifts or the people you celebrated them with? If you asked me what I got three years ago I couldn’t remember for life or money. What I remember is the fun I had with the people I love. My best Christmas memory is when I knitted a throw for my best friend’s mom who was dying of brain tumors. She loved Christmas and we all prayed that she would be around for it. When she opened my gift the look on her eyes will always stay with me. She acted like I had given her the most expensive gift in the world. Anyone who came into the house would be called over to look at it. This wonderful woman was so grateful for something I had made. When I was working on it , I had people tell me why was I being so cheap.Why didn’t I just go and buy her a gift? To me, a handmade gift is something from the heart. It isn’t because the person is cheap. Back in the old days, Christmas gifts used to be homemade. The difference between now and then is gratitude. People were grateful for what they were given but now some people complain because the gift wasn’t expensive enough.

With all the problems in the world now, maybe we should take a step back and go back to being grateful for what we have. Gratitude isn’t something elusive. It is within all of our reach. We just have to want to have it. Make these holiday about more than how much you spent or how many gifts you got. Do something for someone else. It can be something you made for someone or helping an elderly neighbor by shoveling the snow off their sidewalk and driveway. Help in a food bank and you will forget about whatever problems you have. That is when gratitude comes knocking. Answer the door and let it in. If you have a job even if you don’t like it, a roof over your head with food on the table, you have nothing to complain about. Gratitude should start at Christmas and go year round. Wake up everyday and ask yourself what you can do for someone else. Gratitude is the best gift we can receive.


Kathryn said...

Beautiful post. Homemade is the best - you have a huge heart.

Jen Pearlman said...

Great post. I'm horrified that you actually had people call you cheap. I love handmade gifts - especially from the heart. Thank you for sharing!

J. Rhino Setyanto said...

I totally agreed with you. People these days are so money oriented. I just wish things could be like the old days. Salute for you. :)

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Can one of my students use your photograph of hands for a project?

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