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Thank you, Krista.

We have a beautiful 6 year old daughter, an only child. I found myself sick to my stomach as she opened gift after plastic gift on Christmas Day.

I am not particularly dogmatic about Christmas; but I completely agree that the commercialization of Christmas is the dominant cultural theme. Our daughter is sweet and empathetic. She has no idea that all kids don't have the kind of Christmas that she does. She doesn't know what excessive consumerism is.

My wife and I both have jobs and we provide a safe and loving home for the three of us. However, I felt empty Christmas day, as we opened gifts. I felt embarrassed.

I don't think I would have felt this way two years ago, but something has shifted in me the past 24 months. I don't know what has shifted.

My idea of a great Christmas would be this : Among relatives, we gather around a cozy fire, in a low-lit room, with wine, food and craft beers at hand. We each exchange a gift with one person ( for whom we have drawn a name). The gift should be something we have thought of ourselves that will be cherished by the recipient. For example, my niece is an artist and I asked for a painting of something dear to me. We all tell stories and talk about what we are thankful for and say a prayer for those who have passed.