Their reasoning centers around the economic upheaval we’ve all witnessed worldwide, but they also claim it allows shoppers the opportunity to begin placing desired items on lay away, which allows ample time to pay for the purchases.
I wonder, however, if we aren’t rushing our lives away, in nearly every way imaginable. We are so concerned about the next “event” we miss the now! We rush to work, often over the speed limit because we are running behind; do as much as possible in that arena as quickly as possible until lunch time; eat a fast food lunch, rush home, and rush through the events of the evening, which often includes a trip to a child’s ballet recital, or sports practice, to finally drop into bed from sheer exhaustion and then start the process all over again the next morning.
I chatted with an acquaintance who married an older man who already had a daughter. Several years after their marriage she became pregnant. They were overjoyed and blessed with a baby girl. When the child was about a year old, the family was staggered by the death of the father from a massive heart attack. Love surrounded the mother and family as they struggled to regain some semblance of normalcy despite the grief. A week after the funeral, the family had yet another surprise. The young woman was stunned to learn she was pregnant again. Panic eventually was exchanged for joy as she realized she was going to be blessed with another child; this time, she learned, a boy. As she and I chatted she shared that while she was excited, she was also frightened.
What does she care about the next holiday? She has greater worries, as most of us do, yet we are inundated with decorations for the next holiday regardless of how unimportant it may be. Her focus isn’t on Valentine’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day which is still weeks away. It’s on how she is going to provide for her daughter and upcoming newborn. So why is the business world so intent on flooding our senses with a pounding of the next holiday? Aside from purely economic strategy, I can’t answer that one. Do we need to advertise so many weeks out from a holiday?
More important is making sure our family knows they are loved, regardless of how much money we spend on celebrations. The holiday will arrive whether we decorate or not. It is a day on the calendar someone decided was important. There are celebrations of our faith. Many of these in our cultural world, however, have lost their religious value and replaced with only monetary worth. Perhaps if we reflected on the real reason for the celebration without all the glitz and glamour added, we may find reason to cherish the holiday even more.