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  • Edición impresa de Diciembre 7, 2010

This Christmas is a very different one. Not only I am aware of the many people who are in need, but I also am more aware of the many things I do not need.

The last two years have been very hard for many people who are jobless, homeless, ill or away from family and friends.

One of the things that strikes me is how after a fire for example, people say: “We are all alive, and that’s what counts. Material things come and go, but people you cannot substitute.” Yet when we go about our daily life, we lose that focus, and start to think about all the things that we need, or shall we say, desire?

I heard a short while ago about people who are trying to have no more than 100 items. Have you taken notice of how many you have? According to the person who was informing me of this idea, in her household each one has one bowl, one spoon, one glass, andone towel. They also have only one pair of shoes for the winter and a pair of sandals for the summer.

I did not get any further details, but it got me thinking. How many things are piling up in the house that I rarely use?

I also remember talking o a group of immigrants once and reflecting in how many shirts and shoes they had before coming to US, and how many they now had.

Is shopping one of the national sports? The reason that I ask is because people don’t usually say, “Let’s go for a walk,” instead they say, “let’s go to the mall.” The downside of that is that many times it is not just for walking, but also for buying unnecessary things.

Do you ever feel guilty for the things you own to the point that giving away something is a way of ‘calming conscience’? That is, after a spending spree you may donate something to someone, that way you feel that you are ‘sharing’ with another person.

That brings about another thought about giving, the mentality of “first cover your own bases,” then you take care of the family, friends, and people that ‘you have to give something to’, and then after all those expenses, you may consider ‘sharing’, or extending grace to people in disadvantage.

Because of so many reflections and also because I have learned that truly significant things cannot be bought, my Christmas wish list has shortened, and I feel much lighter.

I want to begin my Christmas wish list with many things I cannot buy: I want to be able to spend time with friends and also to get to know a couple of new people to broaden my horizons.

Since my immediate relatives are very far away, I need to borrow relatives from someone local.

I do not need any presents, nor do I want to spend time at crowded places. I just want to truly enjoy conversation and have a good time in good company.

That really simplifies my list for this year. How are you coming along with yours?

 

 


 

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