16 November 2011

Holiday Shopping And The Meaning Of Giving...

My paternal grand mother often regaled us with tales of raising up the hem of her skirts in the 20's, choosing the best hat to match her dress intricately hand sewn by treasured dressmakers with an impeccable reputation, not forgetting the careful selection of gloves and matching shoes to complement her ensemble. 

Another era bygone and whilst we are relieved not to wear uncomfortable attire such as corsets and other devices (surely thought of by someone as just another torture for the 'well dressed' woman), there is perhaps something missing today...Women (and men) have adopted a careless attitude in choosing their garments and somehow lost their identity.

Holiday shopping is something many of us are thinking of these days and I have carefully read all the advice offered so far online, sites and blogs in particular tooting one gadget or another, toys, books, movies etc...
Despite a sad worldwide economy and so many out of work and loosing their homes to foreclosure I am surprised to hear how much will be spent this holiday season! 

The thought of giving the 'perfect' gift seems to consume people, never mind that too often the carefully chosen item is not exactly what the recipient wished for (hence those long lines at the return desks the day after Christmas!)

Celebrating St Nicholas day on the 6th of Septembre enabled our little family to stress giving to the children only with one main gift and assorted oranges, chocolates and spekuloos. I am happy to report albeit our children are now in their thirties, they learned to appreciate gift receiving and are as frugal as we were.

With the Christmas season soon to open the day after Thanksgiving in this country we noticed more than ever the media brainwashing the public in thinking 'spend, spend, spend!'. Gone almost is the time when Mother would knit a well needed jumper, Dad would craft a bi-plane from carefully chosen wood and Granny baked fruit laden cakes, biscuits and assorted sweets to give to family and neighbours! Even Christmas cards are now printed with cheerful greetings and the sender's name to save time!

Holiday shopping has always elicited wonderful memories of dressing up in our finest and traveling by trolley to the business district to check out shoppes windows decorated for the season with twinkling lights and shining baubles. 
A stop by the market place to see the newly erected Christmas tree, a leisurely eaten luncheon in a nearby restaurant and the acquisition of a few carefully chosen but humble gifts for family and friends rounded up our outing. 
There were lots of oohs and aahs, no one seemed frazzled and everyone cheerfully wished acquaintances and strangers alike a Merry Christmas!

The meaning of giving seems somewhat lost these days. Somehow we have forgotten the true meaning of the season, the celebration of a small child born in a stable 2000 years ago! 
Giving is not the purchase of a trinket or such but sharing with others whatever we have to give in 'His' name! 
Giving means so much more than spending a specific amount on a loved one or dropping a few coins in the Salvation Army kettles!

I was happy to notice one blogger stressing the need for canned goods for food banks, toiletries for shelters, a reminder that animal shelters also are much in need this season and so on...Cheers to her!

In turn I have chosen to remind readers that our troops are faraway from home and need your generosity!
Snacks, jerky, biscuits, socks, toothpaste, reading material are only a few of the things men and women overseas would appreciate! 
Many servicemen and women are available for adoption! Show you care!
Don't forget mail! A card with a few meaningful lines will help to cheer them up!
Their families have also sacrificed so much and are in need as well! If you know a military family let them know you appreciate them, see if someone needs a helping hand (such as a few hours of freedom whilst you babysit?) 

As a Soldier's Angel I would like to mention this wonderful association :


and also http://www.anysoldier.com/

Both have done outstanding work for service people all over the world but there are many others! Check also with churches, business and acquaintances! Perhaps you might join with a friend in sponsoring someone far away from home and let them know you care! Make it a family event!

Giving...don't forget its meaning!

Blessings to all,

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