Father Christmas, Give Us Some Money!

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.


Image by Yomanimus

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?


  • Every year I read a similar message. You deliver it succinctly, clearly, and effectively. Thank you!  If enough of us accept this philosophy, commit to it, and live it – every day – how will we look back on our lives? I recently found a quote that will be a favorite reminder as to how I approach my day: Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
    – Guillaume Apollinaire

  • Well time…and shoes. And some wine. Because wine makes everything better. 

    I have an advisor who says, “The best gift you can give a CEO is the gift of time.” And I repeat that to people when they cancel meetings on me at the last minute or can’t attend an event. I’m always happy to gain time I didn’t know I was going to have.

  • Hi Geoff,

    I’m wondering what happened to good old Thanksgiving? :( In recent years it seems like this holiday has been tossed aside to make way for the Christmas buying season, which is moving ever so closer to September each year. I love the non-event that is Thanksgiving. 

    I enjoy this time of year for so many reasons, but I don’t think going to a jam-packed mall and fighting for a parking space puts you in a festive holiday mood. It makes me downright grumpy and I’m doing less of it each year. If you’re pepper sprayed trying to get your hands on that last X-box 360, well, that’s even worse. Stay away from those Walmart sales, because you just might get gang tackled and end up the hospital with a concussion or a dislocated shoulder. ;)

    I also wonder how many people wake up on Christmas morning, look out the window and realize their spouse has placed a big, fat red ribbon on a brand new Lexus? ;) “That’s not the car I wanted, you lousy, good for nothing …” 

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