Christmas Presents

You know why the world is broken? Not because bad things happen. But because the good things don’t make us happy. Or at least the things we think of as good don’t make us happy.

I had a little breakdown this morning. Maybe it wasn’t little. An almost hyperventilating, crying ’til your lips are swollen kind of breakdown. I think I’m over it now. I just needed to get all my frustration and sadness out.

There is so much good in our lives, yet we just can’t stay happy. We don’t know how to appreciate it. We toss aside onto the floor (or any open surface in this house) the things we thought were important enough to spend our money on.

It’s like clutter is this disease that’s snuck into our systems and we can’t escape it because it’s everywhere, everywhere we look, everywhere we sit, even where we lay our heads at night.

And what’s worse is that we have brought this on ourselves and continue to do so. Week after week, parcel after parcel has arrived from Amazon or Old Navy with things that we’ve ordered. It never seems to stop. And we forget about it as soon as it arrives, sometimes even before it arrives.

I don’t want anything for Christmas this year. That makes me cry. It makes me cry because I feel like I’ve gotten to the place where I can’t enjoy the good things that surround me. Because there is too much. That sounds ridiculous, but I think it is a symptom of something very wrong with our culture. And it’s something that makes me very unhappy on the days that I’m aware enough to notice it… to be frustrated by it.

I know there is nothing wrong with gifts. Gifts are good and meant to bring joy. But if I could get anything for Christmas this year, it would be freedom from this horrible feeling I have from my head down to my stomach that these things we acquire only breed unhappiness.

Won’t someone come and turn my world upside down and shake out all of the things that don’t really matter. Shake up my heart so I can be happy in want and in plenty. I want so much to enjoy all the good gifts that are in this world, even the Christmas presents.

Posted in Life & Faith | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Christmas Presents

  1. Matthew says:

    I definitely understand that sentiment. I have had a few teary-eyed freak-outs due to my inability to cope with how much we have that we don’t even need/want in comparison to so many others in the world with so little material wealth.

    I definitely agree that there’s something wrong when the luckiest people to have ever been born (us) are more and more unable to find contentment in our abundance. Definitely a cultural problem.

    It seems that the clearer I am about that which is most important, the more able I am to actually deal with the nuance of complexity of relating to everything else, including Christmas presents.

    What has been interesting to see is that the more I give my life to something greater than myself and my own happiness, the less I’m affected by the ‘want’ and ‘plenty,’ and, paradoxically, I’ve become a happier person. I think that’s the way culture is going to change, too.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Johanna says:

    This is exactly why I’ve started trying the whole “minimalist” thing.

    It is so freeing to donate a carload of stuff I never use and don’t really like, stuff that’s just clogging up my life. It is more freeing than I thought it would be to go look at the clothes in my closet and only see 8 shirts, 3 pairs of pants…the fewer choices I have, the less stressed I am about those choices. And the more I seem to enjoy the things I have.

    I still struggle with not buying things, and not bringing home a lot of junk, but every time I’m tempted I try t o remember how much I’ve donated…do I really want to pay someone money for something I never found a use for in the first place?

    If something isn’t making you happy, if something is making you stressed or upset, if it gets in your way, if it bothers you, get rid of it! When I’m deciding whether to keep or donate something I think, “When will I use this again, and what would it cost me to replace it?”

    That’s how I’ve been finding freedom these days…simplifying my life with less stuff and fewer commitments.

  3. rebs says:

    great thoughts. I used to be a kid who expected much at Chris.mas when I was a kid. Now I am a person who doesn’t want much if at all. It fun to open something but the reality is gifts don’t make us happy. What makes me happy is a not written in kid writing from my son, hearing him sing carols, and just getting an email from friends and family saying they love me on my -day and these holidays. Stuff doesn’t make us happy, you are right.

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