A Generous Spirit

An important part of the Christmas holiday season had always been being full of a spirit of generosity. As I look at what the holidays mean to me now and seek to recapture the magic, I can see that generosity became one of the stumbling blocks for me as I descended into my scroogism. On the one hand, I used to love to go shopping to buy gifts for others. As I grew up it became more important to me than the excitement of opening my own gifts. I loved to try to pick the right gift for each individual and looked for a genuine positive reaction when it was received. However, as I went from a poor college student to developing the health problems that kept me from working, money for gifts was not easily found. Not being able to feel the joy of giving generously took away a lot of what I enjoyed about the holidays. At the same time, I became increasingly aware of our culture of consumerism and the role it plays in our annual rush to the malls. So I found that I didn’t know how to resolve this conflict of values. I wanted to feel that expansive heart of a generous spirit but find the endless flow of stuff not something I want to participate in anymore. Not knowing how to handle the conflict, it became another reason to check out of the whole holiday experience. However, it has been my loss as I my heart closed up. I can see that in order to fully reclaim the magic I felt at this time of year, I must find new ways to experience the spirit of giving that I love and yet to not be a part of the consumerism I don’t.

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