Christmas Day 1965
Goodness gracious me! It’s one week to Christmas, and I have not done a lick of Christmas shopping. I’ve been bombarded by ads and flyers, promotions and sales, all calling me to the store to buy, buy, buy. In Christmas’s past, I would have been one of those last minute shoppers, picking over stocking stuffers and digging through the bargain book bin. Christmas Eve meant ripping wrapping paper and hastily scrawling last minute Christmas cards that won’t grace the recipient’s mailbox until the following year.
But, all this has changed with our new, virtual, and fast-paced world. My gift list is taken care of with a few mouse clicks and a credit card number. Everyone’s happy with their iTunes cards, their Amazon gift cards, or Paypal cash. With a single Facebook update, I can greet all my friends “Merry Christmas” in five different languages. And forget the bargain book bin, free ebooks proliferate faster than the nuclear arm’s race.
The fast paced world has made the holidays easier and less stressful. But what hasn’t changed is the meaning of Christmas, of family and giving, and helping the less fortunate. On Christmas Day, I challenge you to turn off your electronic devices, get off the Internet, and put away the video games. Sit around the kitchen table and let everyone have a chance to talk about anything they want. With the family gathered around, it is the perfect time to pass down the stories that tie us together. Read a real physical book to your children and let them touch the pages and look at the pictures. Gather around the piano and sing Christmas carols.
No matter how fast we move and how many gadgets we own, this Christmas, take the time to enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, taste and touch of the holidays by being present with the people you’re gathered with. So wherever you are, go for a walk, take a big breath, and enjoy your holidays at a slower pace.
Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better in fiction than real code. She has over thirty years of writing experience and has always lived in a multi-cultural environment.
Rachelle is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.
Visit her at: http://www.rachelleayala.com or follow @AyalaRachelle on Twitter.
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