Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Reframing the Holiday Season

I saw my first holiday lights on the way home from work tonight.

Today at the local clergy association, Rev. John Danner, a UCC minister here in Westport, CT, told us about his sermon this past Sunday where he addressed the new common wisdom that "it's going to be a meager Christmas." We began to toss out other such sentiments that we've been hearing: "kids are going to be disappointed this holiday", "we can't do much for this Chanukah", "I'm worried about not giving my children a good Christmas" and so on.

The point was not lost on any of us. Less disposable income for gifts is starting to equal a disappointing holiday. What a sad comment on what the December holidays have come to mean.

I suggested to John that he write a column for our local paper on this, but he demurred. I told him I'd like to write a blog.

So, here's my challenge to my readers. Whenever you hear someone make this type of statement, gently offer them a reframe. "Yes, we may not be as able to buy as many or as lavish gifts, but I'm wondering what we can do to make it the best holiday season ever." Think about what new traditions you can start. Think about the volunteer work you can do as a family. Think about how to celebrate the religious meanings of the holiday in your home and in your faith community. Go to the free carol sings, the school holiday concerts, the congregation holiday parties. Make presents rather than buy them. Offer the gift of your time and attention.

What will you do to make this the best holiday ever?


fausto said...

Oh my, I spent my first grade Sunday School year at the Westport Unitarian church, and my second grade Sunday School year at Saugatuck Congregational. (I guess it all took!)

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