I read an article yesterday from the USA Today website… http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2011-12-22/cutting-back-christmas-spending/52144864/1?csp=hf about how there is a small following of people who are rejecting the commercialism of Christmas because of the financial pressure it essentially puts on families. The article focused on some stereotypes who struggle most – namely single mothers. Some of the remarks posted afterwards were quite conservative, talking about the ‘traditional family values’ and how we should all be focusing on the tradition of a mother, father and children type of family with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins join together to sing Christmas carols, eat copious amounts of lavish food and wear ‘ugly sweaters.’ No doubt, there are some families who absolutely love to get together and enjoy the spirit of Christmas, as everyone gets along so well, but that Disney image of all love and no war in a family is myopic and idealist, especially when there are on-going feuds in families, jealousy of those more fortunate than others and individual families changing situations.
For instance, the death of a family member throughout the year can be overwhelming for those who loved that person and Christmas is a hard reminder that that loved one is gone. But on the other spectrum, think about all those who can’t handle the fact that they haven’t achieved what they wanted over the year for their family or themselves, get themselves into a drunken state, then lash out on those they are supposed to love with physical and emotional violence – spare a thought for the emergency workers who see more acts of domestic violence over Christmas than any other time of the year… What about the uncertainty of handling family situations when a marriage fails, family members go unexpectedly missing or the sadness of a sick child in hospital? What pressure do these events put on the traditions of Christmas? They all make Christmas a very difficult time, and Christmas just exasperates the situations that people have found themselves in, and it can be overwhelmingly distressing.
So for all those who absolutely ‘love’ Christmas for all the decorations, the present giving, the glorious food, the Christmas tree, the religious meaning, the joy on children’s faces and the coming together of family and friends, spare a thought for those who are overwhelmed with their own personal situations, read between the lines a little and give some of your heartwarming spirit to touch their Christmas heart in a way that is unexpected and memorable, allowing them to rekindle their spirit of Christmas. It will make your Christmas all the more special that you thought outside yourself and your family and it will make them feel special again.
I hope you all had a ‘special’ moment of giving outside yourselves and had a chance to see the truth behind the Christmas spirit this Christmas. For me, I’d like to thank all my loyal fans and supporters for reading my blog and look forward to casting more happiness, adventure and fabulous ideas out to the single mothers out there in 2012.