Walking home in the dark this evening, I noticed that people are decorating their homes in the Christmas way out here on America's west coast in the Siskyou Mountains. They're pretty even though the temperature is hovering around the mid 40s and there isn't any snow. They take me back, of course.
So do other things, like television commercials, pitching children's gifts. They appeal to the child in me.
All of this forces me to address my dichotomies. I dislike much of our consumer oriented culture where we spend so much time and money to improve our buying experiences and increase our range of toys while people needlessly suffer.
But I like toys.
As I thought about Christmases past, I remember four favorite gifts. Those four gifts, given four different years, really brought me fun and pleasure. I hadn't asked for any of them, yet somehow my Mom knew me and bought them for me, taking me completely by surprise.
And they were great.
So I temper my cynicism and dismay. Who knows what stories will be crafted out there by people receiving unexpected gifts? The gifts they receive may temper and change their lives.
They may even make them smile in memory as they walk home in the dark, decades later.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com