A Post Christmas Message


A Post Christmas Message

Time seems to have caught up with me and I didn’t get around to blogging about this greatest of holidays until today. So there.

We hear so much about the ‘commercialization of Christmas” and the evils of ‘gift giving’ these days. To all that I say Bah Humbug.

The process of giving gifts is as important as the gifts themselves.  In the few minutes it takes us to select a gift on line or the hours slogging through stores are moments we are thinking about the people who will be the recipients of our largesse.

Yes, we could open a college fund for the kids and put a few bucks in their names into it, but what will the kids think?  Gee that’s great that Grampa send me a letter with a receipt in it for $100 rather than a train set…  Right.

LA radio commentator and philosopher, Dennis Prager, was holding forth on this topic on Christmas Eve.  He thought that the tradition of gift giving was right on and if it was the heart of the celebration, so be it. When we give we also receive something in return, even if we never see or talk to the person who got the gift.

A women called in to the program and noted that as she walked through the stores, she heard many conversations that went like: “This is the perfect thing for Max, he will love it.” or “This color will look just right on Mary.” In these little conversations the gift giver was thinking about the person involved. What are their preferences, what do they like, what colors or shapes would look good on them.

Wise person, that woman.

Yes, Christmastime is magic, its mysteries and traditions have survived two millennia. When things last that long, why buck the tide?  Not only is Christmas filled with tradition, it is filled with wisdom. And part of that is the tradition of gift giving.

We had a wonderful family Christmas celebration. And I wish all the best to you and yours…

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Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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