Friday, October 28, 2011

Holiday Overload

Deck the Halls with ghouls and witches. Falalalala lalalala. Evidently Halloween was tossed aside this week because Christmas commercials have taken over the TV. However, the kids will not trick or treat until Tuesday. I'm confused with this mixture of the two. Where in the world is Thanksgiving in all of this? I'm on holiday overload. HELP!

In our home, we have Gabby's birthday streamers, Stacey's Christmas knitting and Halloween decorations. There isn't a bare spot in the living room. Holiday confusion could overwhelm a small child. For us, we can keep the separation between decorations. I'm almost dreading the time we get the Christmas decorations out. I'm not sure the rest will be gone yet. I think I'm frightened that the room will become a Party Place.

So what of our attitudes towards these dates that have residence on calendars when they come out the beginning of each year? As kids we toss off the mask, dive into the turkey and make a list for the jolly man. For me, I see a long list of dollar signs all running into one another. There is sparkle in the eyes of children and panic in the hearts of parents who cannot afford the holidays.

We say that it isn't about the gifts, but we know what we wish for our children. Children live in cars and on the streets with their families. They sit in hospital beds wanting to go home. They are hungry and afraid. Yet our children can't comprehend what those children suffer. What a wonderful time to show children how important it is to remember other and to weaken that dollar sign holiday.

When I was a child, we trick or treated for UNICEF. When my kids were teens, we served dinner to families in the children's cancer wing of the hospital. As children, we caroled at the nursing homes. Our church started the Heifer Project. We were surrounded by opportunities to give.

I'm trying not to be bogged down with this influx of holidays. I'm trying not to think of what we cannot provide and to think of the difference we can make. Maybe you would like some ideas, too.

Sponsor a calf for a family:
Trick or Treat for UNICEF:
As a family, serve Thanksgiving dinner at a food shelter.
Find your child a pen pal in another country through Pen Pal World, church mission program or the school might even have a sister school.

It's time to take charge of the holiday instead of charging to make it happen.


  1. Great suggestions, Pamela. I remember when the March of Dimes was literally a march of dimes. Everyone received a little card to be filled up with dimes carefully fitted into the slots, and on the appointed day, volunteers picked them up. I thought it was a wonderful and relatively painless way to give. Today, I favor Heifer International.

  2. Susan, I had forgotten about the little cards full of dimes. I thought it great fun to pop the dimes into the slots.

    Sometimes I think we are so excited to give our kids parties and gifts and forget that the best gift we can give is one of caring and compassion for others. Hm. Sounds like a blog:)