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Monday

Holey Philosophies


Parents can’t afford to overdue it with all the useless toys as they have in past years. “Just 10 toys this year,” 1 mother stated apologetically on the 10 o’clock news. Just 10? Awwww....poor little kiddies! Really though? This year, the Grinch that stole Christmas is the recession. It’s giving some parents the opportunity to teach about the spirit of giving. Sounds more like the recession is making folks turn away from the commercialism and get back to what I’ve heard Christmas is actually about. The Tom Joyner Morning Show joked that many African Americans would opt for Kwanzaa this year because it’s easier on the wallet. As a kid who grew up with Kwanzaa, I never felt that I was lacking compared to my Christmas celebrating counterparts, and had a great time celebrating the 7 principles in grand community style. We had big market places, wonderful performances, huge feasts--all around building of extended family and enjoyment of each other’s company, skills and talents. I received things I enjoyed, could really use, and that served to edutain me.

When Christmas became a part of my life, it only provided sleepless nights, anxiety, and the crash and burn high of unwrapping gifts that lost their luster before the day was done. Kwanzaa focuses on principles for living year round. Perhaps if Christians remembered the spirit of Christmas, receiving wouldn’t be an expectation but truly understand giving out of the goodness of their hearts as often as possible--especially to those of greater need. Based on the bleak picture painted by the news broadcast, Christian parents are going to be bitch-slapped by their children come Christmas morning when they open their 10 items or less. I’m not clear on where the deprivation comes in, but these parents are consulting psychologists on the best way to explain to their children that “we just ain’t got it” this year. Just another example of over-indulged American children. I wouldn’t have known to question receiving 1 gift vs 10, as I was taught to be thankful for even being considered at all. This isn’t to say that all Christians are caught up in the hype but it seems as though Christmas and Commerce are interchangeable. With them both starting with that hard C, folks might not notice that you’ve traded in the term related to Christ.

Anyway. Bump toys. These kids should all receive journals and the assignment to write something they’re thankful for EVERY DAY for a year without repeating anything. Maybe then they’d realize just how much they’d already received on every other day of the year in front of and behind December 25th. Maybe that’s why my children are imaginary. I’d hate to be turned in for Holiday Abuse.

Watch me move.

2 comments:

  1. I was raised in a household that celebrated Xmas, tho the gifts were scarce we still appreciated what we got. Spoiling our kids is horrible but I dont c ne thing wrong with giving them gifts. My main issue is why we as black community spend so much money on that day, and no money to put towarour kids a college fund or helping our kids start business's

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  2. I've actually never had the pleasure of even being aquainted with someone who celebrated Kwanzaa, but it sounds like a delightful experience, and certainly one that would enrich the lives of those who participate in it.

    I, being a Jamaican Canadian, am a Christian and celebrate Christmas both on the Santa/Presents level and on the Church/Jesus level. Midnight masses, candlelight services, special prayers, and the Virgin birth story, as well as the anticipation of Santa Claus, of the new gifts I would get, and the excited, happy and joyfilled faces of my loved ones as they open gifts I had painstakingly made or purchased, were all one in the same to me growing up, one no more important than the other, but to miss out on one would be to have a Christmas that was less than whole.

    That being said, having lived in North America all my life, I certainly agree with you that for the most part children are highly spoiled and have no idea what "the spirit of Christmas" is all about. The mistake these parents have made is never teaching their children how lucky they are to be of the "have" variety when there are so many children who are the "have nots" - and I don't mean presents, I mean food, shelter, a loving home etc.

    That being said, I never knew a child who was either West Indian or African who wasn't happy with getting any present whatsoever on Christmas. Maybe I just know a lot of exceptions, but I find that the cultures, and the levels of respect we were raised to have for our parents made it impossible to be anything but thankful for anything you received, from Santa, your parents, or anyone else, regardless of the time of year. JMO

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