Whoever allows suffering causes it. When one has the means (money) to help another in desperate need and instead uses it to buy a gift for someone who doesn’t need it, an evil act is committed. It seems like generosity but it is misdirected. There are far more good deeds done than at other times of the year, but they pale in comparison with the orgy of purchase that takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Most of the money spent around this time is on expensive gifts for children and family members, coworkers and friends. If instead of spending that money on luxury goods and putting it into the hands of wealthy business owners, we gave it to the poor, we could change the world every Christmas.
Christmas is supposed to be a celebration of Christ’s birthday, but in America it has evolved into a commercial holiday. The focus is on the gifts we give and get, and they are the most expensive ones we get all year. However, Christ’s teachings emphasize helping the poor and needy, yet for the celebration of his birth, we often give our money to stores to buy the kind of gifts that people don’t need, instead of using it to help the poor!
It may seem pessimistic, but I consider it realistic, to say about Christmas, “It can be described better by the good that isn’t done than the good that is.” For example, if you give $5 to a Salvation Army bell ringer on your way into a store to buy $50 worth of gifts for someone who needs them, you might feel good about yourself. In fact, you should feel guilty about the $50 that isn’t going to help those in need and is instead going to fill someone’s materialistic desires. It’s the thought that counts; and we aren’t thinking nearly enough about the people truly need our help.
So, on Christmas, I ask you to please spend less on presents for people who aren’t in need this year. Spend it on the poor instead. Give it to a charity, or buy supplies that the homeless need like warm winter clothes, food, toiletries and take them to a homeless shelter. This year I really did this, I spent my money on things for the homeless and I’m making gifts for my family instead of buying them. Get in the true spirit of Christmas and give to those in need instead of those in want.
Posted in: Public Service Announcements