So goes the chorus of the classic Kinks tune, “Father Christmas.” A funny punk commentary that cuts right to the core of what Christmas has become to our culture, a time to get stuff, or preferably just some money (bonus, boss?).
Consumerism has become our value set. Looking good, having things, freedom to buy things, these are all of great value to the American mindset.
Yet when you consider the top five things the dying consider on their death bed, no where do you see money or stuff on the list. Nor do you see popularity or massive follower counts on it (booyah, Klout).
Instead, the dying wish they had focused on things like spending more time with their family, working less hard, finding courage to express their feelings, developing more companionship, and learning to be happy right where they are. You see time and presence are the most important things in life.
Of all the things we pursue, how we spend our time is the most important consideration. It is our most precious resource, far more meaningful than money.
When considering expenditures this holiday season, career plans for 2012, and contributions (or lack thereof) to our communities, perhaps we should ask is this a good use of time? Father Christmas may bring you the goods, or even some cash, but he won’t ever be able to give you back today, tomorrow or the memories with family and friends we passed on yesterday.
Give the gift of time this holiday season. What do you think of consumerism during the holidays?