December 20, 2009

Christmas Commercialism

In the spirit of Christmas I decided to post about what used to be my favorite time of the year as a kid. Now it's Thanksgiving, because there are not gifts, candy, or other merchandising pressures on that Holiday. It's just a time to get together with family and friends and be Thankful for them and for life and to enjoy time with them.

Christmas should be about that universally, and if you're a Christian the birth of Christ. But as I've aged it seems like it's become more about the commercialism. Gifts this and gifts that. When I was younger and didn't have expenses I loved buying gifts for my family and friends. It gave me great pleasure to give them something that hopefully I had picked up on that they wanted or would like.

However I remember the exact moment it changed for me. I was in college and suddenly one year it became about "I want you to get me this" and "so and so is going to get me that." I didn't like being told want to get someone. It took the joy out of getting them something that I had thought of knowing them and their personality and their likes etc. That's when the fun of giving at Christmas started to leave for me. Not to mention for the next several years out of college I was broke and couldn't meet the expectations of giving to some people.

I was too dumb and at the time talentless to think of making gifts back then. But I would love to see everyone thumb their nose at the commercialism of Christmas and get creative in their gifts. Maybe it's making a meal, cookies, or bread. Maybe it's drawing or painting a picture. Maybe it's sewing or knitting something. Maybe it's building something out of wood like chair or table. Maybe it's giving your time to babysit, or mow the lawn, or clean the house. Maybe you have some other skill or talent to share with family and friends. It doesn't mean you won't spend any money, but you might spend a lot less and you put your time and heart in it.

I know many people already do this, I just wish I'd thought of this for myself a lot sooner than this year. It also takes time to change traditions in families, and sometimes you may not be successful to the point you'd like to be. It's sometimes hard to change habits cold turkey. But let's take back Christmas to make it about true giving rather than superficial giving.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

December 6, 2009

Is Crying Because You Lost Manly?

Here's one for the guys that the ladies can maintain interest in and an have an opinion about. The premise is not "is it ok for a man to cry ever," because I will agree that there are appropriate times for a man to cry. Well in reality this should apply to women too, however it's more acceptable for women to cry for no reason or at the drop of a hat. What shouldn't be appropriate for women is to cry as a manipulation tool, which many of us either have done or do.

But I digress.

Yesterday after Florida's loss to Alabama (college football for those of you still not following me), Florida's quarterback Tim Tebow was crying. Of course he was spared from the cameras so there were plenty of good shots of him crying so there's no mistaking that he had something stuck in his eyes other than tears. They didn't even stack up to Alabama and he was crying because they lost. This isn't the first time he's cried because his team lost a game.

I personally think it's awkward for a man to show such a display after losing a game. And I think less of him as a man. It makes him look like a spoiled brat that he didn't get his way. Little kids cry after losing a game, not men. My first thought is does that boy have a daddy to teach him how to be a man? Or did he only have a mother and thus learned how not to control his emotions when it's appropriate to control them.

Losing a game is not an appropriate time to cry. Though feel free to disagree with me if you like. You'll still be wrong in my eyes. And I'm sure I'll remain wrong in your eyes. I don't much care for crying for joy either after a win, but that's less offensive than crying because you didn't win the game. Tell me what you think.