I think everybody just needs to settle down a little. (If you are settled down, good. Stay there, at least through Christmas.)
Everybody's rushing around, I still have to go to school this week (of all the terrible things!), and people are bragging, yes bragging about how much money they're spending on Christmas presents. Perhaps they do it in a passive aggressive manner, but they do it all the same.
And although there are moments of happy bustling and calm candlelight and family happiness, the world as a whole has not slowed down on protests, attacks, unrest, abortion, bickering, and general, everyday greed and vanity.
And I think what we need right now (besides, of course, the true meaning of Christmas, Emmanuel), is a little bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I mean, the girl got 6 pieces of candy in their stockings one year, and what was her reaction? Wonder and gratitude. Her little sister Carrie got some buttons on a string, and her reaction? Exactly the same as Laura's and Mary's. Toddlers can find joy in so many things, even some pretty buttons, so it makes one wonder why we spend $50 a pop on deluxe plastic play-sets.
Here's a quote from Little House on the Prairie: "They had never thought of such a thing as having a penny. Think of having a whole penny for your very own. Think of having a cup and a cake and a stick of candy and a penny."
Yes indeed: think of it.
We need not feel guilty for our blessings; that's not at all what I'm saying. I dislike all this talk of checking one's privilege. They're missing the point; obviously we ought to recognize how blessed we are, (and reading Little House is a great way to do that), but our reaction to that should be just like Laura's: wonder and gratitude, not guilt or shame for having more than others.
This was quite a ramble, I know. But let me leave you with another excerpt from On the Banks of Plum Creek:
"Pa had tuned his fiddle and now he set it against his shoulder. Overhead the wind went wailing lonely in the cold dark. But in the dugout everything was snug and cozy. Bits of fire-light came through the seams of the stove and twinkled on Ma's steel knitting needles and tried to catch Pa's elbow. In the shadows the bow was dancing, on the floor Pa's toe was tapping, and the merry music hid the lonely crying of the wind."
Wishing you a happy, merry, simple Christmas,