Finding the True Meaning of Christmas

A MOTHER reader disillusioned with the commercialism of the holidays seeks to find the true meaning of Christmas.
By Anne Vassal
December 2000/January 2001
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I made sponge print wrapping paper with the neighbor girls while old holiday radio broadcasts played and spicy walnuts baked in the oven.

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A MOTHER reader changes her usual game-plan for the holidays in order to find the true meaning of Christmas. 

Last Christmas I went on strike. I was tired of tinsel on display since before Halloween. I was depressed about the prices, confused about what gifts to buy, and pressured to hurry and decide. All this aggravation, and for what? The Christmas morning five-minute gift-opening frenzy. With an exasperated sigh I concluded that the holidays had lost their magic.

Drastic changes needed to be made in order to reclaim the holiday spirit and find the true meaning of Christmas. Since my usual antidepressant was cooking, I proceeded to make goodies into gifts while listening to Handel's Messiah. I made sponge print wrapping paper with the neighbor girls while old holiday radio broadcasts played and spicy walnuts baked in the oven. My husband and I looked for bargain-priced hats and gloves to give to the homeless in our town, and took cookies and cards to invalid neighbors.

Once again I avoided the mall as I made a decorative pillow for our son using vintage fabric from a flea market. When he returned home on Christmas Eve, we went out for Thai food, then drove around to look at the holiday lights before church. Gradually and all at once, it was a wonderful life again.

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