The Goddess Speaks
The season of gimme,
It's that time again. It's that cheery little holiday that falls between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It's the time when Kris Kringle flies over to spread his jolly spirits with us. As long as you're nice and leave him some milk and cookies, that is. Otherwise, you'd better watch out, I hear he can crack a mean whip if you've been naughty.
For those of us who have not been black balled off of Santa's list just yet, our yuletide cheer comes quite easily. Beyond the religious connotation Christmas radiates, many of us have come to associate Christmas as a time of retail exploitation. With Christmas sales, "X Shopping Days Until Christmas!" signs, it's no wonder power shopping has been elevated to a full-contact holiday season sport. If Jesus were a capitalist, I'm sure he'd be proud of the way we've turned a religious holiday into bright lights, big sales.
And while most of us are shopping for the perfect gifts and strapping those bows on tight, there are other things to get excited about. Most of us look forward to spending quality time with friends and family, and enjoying that Christmas spirit we always hear about. Life is quite nice during the holiday season. Oh, yes it is.
But the world does not revolve around all the happy folk shopping in the malls.
There are many who don't share common Christmas sentiments because not everyone has it that easy. It's unfortunate how often we forget, or ignore, that fact.
As we're all making our lists and checking them much more than just twice, we often forget about the less fortunate. The homeless, those without family, even those who are just plain lonely. We get so high off the piney smell of our freshly trimmed Christmas trees, we forget about those for whom December is just a string of ordinary days.
It has been repeatedly said that Christmas is the time to give, but the act of giving is not solely the act of giving into consumer pressures. And it isn't all about whose name you got in your office Secret Santa pool either.
To give your time, company and goodwill to those who need it is more precious than any gift you could have expediently wrapped at a nearby department store. And if you really can't spare a moment out of your frantic search for that last Chicken Dance Elmo for your favorite niece, you could always make a gift to a donation-worthy organization of your choice. It's not often that capitalism and altruism blend so well together, but when it does it is truly an amazing moment.
So do your good deeds for goodness sake. Because after all your good works have been said and done, Santa just might have the parking elves reward you with a space as you're rushing to finish that last-minute shopping.
Kathryn Kam is a second-year law student at the University of Hawaii, Richardson School of Law.
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