As I am growing older I have begun to look at and expect different things from holidays: birthdays and Christmas, etc. In the US everything is so commercialized it is almost painful. Societal expectations for big gifts and great parties are the norm and I am afraid that what real counts gets lost in all of the glitz and planning.
For me, now gifts are not really important. What I really want is just is some kind words and to spend time with the important people in my life. Presents are nice, but the greatest gift is one that we can never buy no matter how much money we make – the gift of time.
I also do not want my children, when Tanya and I have them, to grow up with a commercial thought about holidays. Today, holidays are more about the money and gifts, and the real reason to celebrate is lost in the advertising.
When I was growing up my father asked me if knew what this or that holiday was really about and I appreciate that, and for me it served to punctuate the idea that many kids are lost in the presents and excitement and have no idea or appreciation for why we our nation is taking time out to celebrate.