A week has passed since I've arrived in my home state of Colorado to celebrate the holiday seasons with the family and friends that I love. Every visit to Colorado since my departure after high school graduation has been short and sweet. This visit has been relatively different. Maybe it's my perception that has changed or maybe it is the struggling economy reaching all homes and families or a combination of both. The people here, especially in my hometown of Salida, are really down with a low or negative energy. I am witnessing firsthand the struggling economy reaching the back roads of our country at a time when everyone is supposed to be joyous celebrating their respective holiday.
I was sitting at a bar in our town last weekend watching some football and that one Christmas song kept playing in my head "It's the most wonderful time of the year..." just then, I witnessed a friend's mom storm through the bar in a high-strung ball of stress because of lack of money, being lonely, etc. Those who were trying to help kept saying, "it's the holidays, tough time of year." Let me get this straight, the most wonderful time of year really ends up being the most stressful time of year for many... especially in a struggling economy, why is this?
Your number one answer can be pointed to the fact that our religious family holidays have succumbed to the pressures of corporate America and has become a consumer-based holiday. I believe we should give gifts to those we love at any point of year, not just on Jesus Christ's birthday. What is so wrong or politically incorrect about that? The pressure for lower to even middle-income families begins to build around mid November and takes full swing on black Friday, day after Thanksgiving when all the blowout sales take place. This year especially has been very alarming since the Wal Mart employee was trampled to death in Long Island due to frenzied shoppers who somehow forgot what the true meaning of these holidays are. It seems to me this holiday season was a great national gut-check for our conusmer-based society. I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with those that I love and didn't ask for a single gift, though my Mom gave me several books to add to the collection, thank you Mom.. you really didn't have to!
The point I'm trying to make should be absolutely clear by this point, I only hope that for a country that has had a 20-year party of over-consumption on the next hot buy for the bigger and better, we are beginning to realize what really is important in these times and any time for that matter.... friends and family. Material pleasure is only satisfying until the next best thing comes out, which happens more and more rapidly these days in a Web 2.0 digital world. Let's take some time, even one day during holidays from time to time to keep the credit card in the wallet and show our loved one they are loved by being there for them, hugging them, and letting them know what really matters, a simple "I love you."