Monday, December 10, 2007
Can we just skip all the commericialism this Christmas?
I spent one week on the island of Upolu, but it's affected me for the rest of my life. After seeing the people there living in tiny huts with huge smiles on their faces, I'm struggling with the image of those closer to home.
People push and shove through the stores to buy everything on their lists with scowls or worrisome frowns only to pile their "frivolous" gifts into the back of their new SUVs and drive back to their big homes full of "useless" clutter.
Okay, negative? Maybe. I just know that more than anything, I want to capture the feelings we had while sitting in a fale listening to island Christmas music. The people there knew there would be no gifts this year as there are no gifts any year, but they are happy. They smile, they love one another and they serve one another. They don't fight over items on the day after Thanksgiving sales.
The Samoans are called the happy people, and they are. They're happy to be alive. They're happy they have the ability to dance and sing. They're happy the island produces everything they need in life.
How would it be to teach our children through that example that true happiness is not found in the new XBox or shoes or dolls? We've shown our children pictures and told them about the people there, but we want to take them so they can experience it for themselves. I look forward to the day when we can spend the Christmas holiday with our new "family" in Samoa, having Christmas the Samoans do.
Until then, I will avoid the stores and ignore the advertisers' calls to buy everything possible to clutter your home and stifle the imagination of our children.