We’re getting closer to the holidays!

Brrr…the temperature’s been dropping these days here in southern California! Since we southern Californians are usually accustomed to the heat, we are shivering in really cold sixty-degree weather! (Well, southern Californians would call sixty degrees cold. San Franciscans in northern California would not. By Alaskan standards a sixty-degree day is tee and shorts day!) Well, that’s because it’s December, and while December means summery smiles in the Southern Hemisphere, December means bundling up in the Northern Hemisphere. But in both the Southern and Northern Hemisphere, December is full of holidays, notably Christmas and Kwanzaa. Most of the time Chanukah comes too, but this year Chanukah got here before Thanksgiving. Most people celebrate Christmas, whether or not they are religious. I have come across many people who hate the holidays because they think that the holidays are just days when the stores open up to sell exciting tree trimmings and stocking stuffers and gifts wrapped in shiny paper and sparkly ribbon. Not to mention Black Friday!

No offense to all the big retail companies out there and Hollywood, but I think commercializing Christmas has had a bad impact on some people. If you work at Hollywood or a big retail company, why is Jesus always edited out of Christmas? Or else it wouldn’t be Christmas. This question is not out of pure sarcasm, but I’d really like to know. Worse, I see commercials that say, “Great deals on winter clothing 90% off! It’s a get-a-gift-for-myself deal! Wahoo!” Even if you’re not religious, Christmas is also about giving, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Not greed OR winter clothing 90% off. We must rethink the meaning of Christmas. Sure, you can buy that ultra-shiny red leather jacket from Macy’s, as long as it’s for someone else like your sister or niece. Think about it–Santa and the elves are going through all that trouble making toys for kids and wrapping them up, and the reindeer must be going through all that trouble flying and stopping at every house! But Santa, his elves, and Rudolph and his team are all doing this out of thoughtfulness and kindness. Did you ever think of it that way?

So, whether or not you’re religious, if you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa, be sure not to let coupon cravings get too much in the way of Christmas! Use those coupons to give.

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