Each year I'm flummoxed by the kickoff to our holiday season. Let's bring family and friends together to give thanks for what we have on Thursday, and then trample our fellow man at 5:00 a.m. at a local Walmart to purchase cheap electronics on Friday? How does that celebrate the holiday season?
"Good Will Towards Men"
"Peace on Earth"
Are these just words we write on our holiday cards out of tradition and the brainwashing of decades of Christmas carols? We spend an insane amount of time and money on decorations and presents and general fa-la-la-la'ing -- but these days its only surface deep.
We should be living the holiday spirit every day -- wishing our global neighbors and our literal neighbors "peace on earth." We should be treating those around us with smiles, and good cheer, and homemade sugar cookies ALL YEAR ROUND. Not just when we bust out the artificial holiday wreath and tack it to our front door.
This holiday season we see atrocities in Afghanistan continue, war break out between Israelis and Palestineans, Congolese rebels take over the city of Goma, and on and on and on... this isn't new, nor is it a reason NOT to count our blessings and celebrate the holiday season. But it IS perhaps reason to think about what matters most. How to not take family, friends, health, peace, and even our jobs for granted.
Do we need more baubles and electronics and plastic toys to be happy? Could we celebrate the true spirit of these holidays with compassion, love, and a commitment to do more in our communities, to spend more time with family, and get off the iPhone, iPad, Wii, and laptop and instead share a glass of wine with a good friend and catch up?
This Black Friday I ask you to think about the money you are willing to put into stuff, and consider putting it into your community, local or global. Invest in 'peace on earth' and 'goodwill towards men' and donate to the charity of your choosing (of course we'd encourage you to support Mountain2Mountain if you are so inclined).
Consider that Black Friday could become a day that changes the world and celebrates the spirit of the holidays! So sleep in, enjoy an extra cup of coffee with your family over the kitchen table, eat some leftover pie for breakfast, avoid the mad rush to buy buy buy, and instead donate online to a charity that you believe is doing great things. Use your money to create a ripple of change that affects all mankind this holiday season.
Peace on earth to all!
Photo Credit: Warren Buttery