Somewhere between the humble birth of Jesus and these days the meaning of the story has been lost. The gift of love that the child was bringing on earth and the first presents received do not resemble the commercial frenzy that we stand nowadays.

Instead of sharing love with meaningful actions, we use money to show affection. Poor people everywhere know that Christmas is the hardest season of all. In the midst of abundance and well-intentioned generosity, their lack of resources is harder to accept.

When did all these change? I read about exchanges of cookies, jellies and candies as a gesture of friendship. I have also read about sharing a meal in order to be together, celebrating life.

Acknowledging the abundance in one’s own life probably moves people to share with others, and that is a commendable result. Nevertheless, when the generosity act comes as something that is given after every immediate relative and friend has been given a fantastic present, it is nothing more than a leftover.

The pastors and peasants that first came to rejoice in the birth of Jesus had nothing. The only thing they had was their disposition to be there with that family. But if I can buy a present for each member of my family, I don’t have to be available or open to them. The more I can spend, the more status and authority I have. This has become the show of season, and even the children are learning to ask for the most expensive things.

Our senses have been bombarded with all the multi lights, and sounds, and there is no space or time to just ‘be’ with others, enjoying a quiet evening. The shopping starts even before November is over, and then you continue to run trying to accomplish all your errands in time. Before Christmas everything must be ready! What are we readying for? How many fights at home because you can’t stretch the money anymore?

And at the end, do you remember the presents received in 1999? Do you remember the quarrel with someone over a present? In the final week of the year, how many of the presents are you truly enjoying, and how many do you feel were given to you just because they had to give you something?. After all, we have been taught that Christmas is for shopping and giving presents.

This Christmas I would like to spend more time and less stress with the people I love. Also, I would like to have more time and be available for those who need comforting or just company. I would like to have some not rushed time with people that I enjoy spending time with. I also would like to hear some people that maybe need just a listening time.

This year, since there is so much war in the world. I don’t want to contribute to the power of the powerful adding more money to their treasure by buying things I don’t need.

Because the expenses run in this country contribute to harm the people and land elsewhere, this year I refuse to add to their pain with my behavior. This year I will think on the children that work creating garments that are sold at places like Wal-Mart, and chocolates that are brought from South Africa where children are sold like slaves to work on the cocoa plantations. This year because I have had the opportunity to feel sad for all the territories occupied by militaries, I refuse to spend the money of a false economy that comes from blood and tyranny.