The phrase “tis the season to be jolly” is a well known musical lyric intended to spread holiday cheer. It can become an irresistible tune when sung repeatedly by choraliers and others who enjoy the festive season. However, when the song has ended, it’s easy to become discouraged when you start thinking about the things you desire, and what you don’t have. The holidays are heavily promoted with commercials about sales and products that appear to bring happiness.
Shopping malls, plazas, and independent retail stores become filled with shoppers who are determined to purchase items they intend to buy when they leave home. We’ve seen this demonstrated on Black Fridays when shoppers flood stores and trample each other when the doors open. This courageous and dangerous journey reflects the tenacity many people possess when it comes to acquiring tangible things. The Internet has also made it easy to shop all day and night to find the perfect gift.
It’s Time to Do Some Deep Soul Searching
If you find yourself guilty of spending hours searching online and offline for things you think will make someone happy, but have felt disappointed when those you’ve given gifts to do not appreciate your hard work, it’s time to reevaluate your purpose for shopping.
The overindulgence of spending money to please others is typically based upon our desire to be accepted. This usually happens when you’re at work, school, on social media, or other places where others are boasting about what they’ve purchased, will purchase, or what they have received for the holidays. You might feel inadequate because you can’t afford the high priced items, but want to showcase how wonderful you are for being such a great gift giver. On the other hand, if you just can’t afford to do any extravagant gift giving, you can become depressed when you conduct an analysis of your personal inventory compared to others who seem to have it all.
II Corinthians 10:12 says …”For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
This means that the temptation to compare yourself to others is not a smart thing to do because other people have something lacking in their lives like you. You must remember there is always someone else who wishes they could have what you have. You may not have the best house, car, clothes, job, or food you would like to have, but there is someone in the world who does not have close to what you have.
I periodically watch world news, and I have been tracking the economic situation in Venezuela. It’s disheartening that so many people are suffering because of government injustice. I remember watching a news clip about a few teenagers who left home to go to a nearby country to find work so they could eat.
These young people had not finished school yet because thier parents could not afford to feed them. They were not concerned about getting the latest iPhone, video game, or clothing item. Their main priority was making enough money for a meal. Although people everywhere must work to eat, the situation in Venezuela is vain because no matter how hard the people work, they don’t make enough money to purchase everything they need to thrive. Reports also indicate that the country’s inflation rate will reach 1.37 million percent by the end of the year.
Reasons to Be Grateful
Searching for things to be thankful for is not hard. Just look around at your tangible blessings. If you have a decent house, food, a car, and at least one friend, then you have something to be thankful for. If you live in a country that allows to travel freely within the borders, you have something to be thankful for. If you can walk, talk, read, write, and eat without assistance, you have something to be thankful for. If you have access to education and employment, you have something to be thankful for.
Let This Season Be a Season of Thankfulness and Not Grief
If you receive a gift this holiday season, be thankful that someone has thought about you. If you don’t receive anything, be thankful that you’re able to give a gift to someone. If you’re not able to give a gift to anyone, be thankful that you can be a companion to someone. If you’re going to be alone this holiday, take time to visit a nursing home. The residents will be happy that someone stopped by to see them.
There are a lot of people in nursing homes whose families do not visit them. While you’re there sing them a song, read a story, and leave gifts. By doing so, you’ll fulfill that longing you have to be connected with others. Read Isaiah 58 to see how you can be blessed by giving to others in need despite your needs.
Remember That You Are Blessed and Stay Thankful,
Roasti, Andrew, and Laya, Patricia. (2018). Venezuela’s 2018 Inflation to Hit 1.37 Million Percent, IMF Says. Bloomberg.com.
Unreported World. (2018). Venezuela’s Children Flee the country’s worsening crisis. YouTube.com