Early this morning before all of the preparations for the big Thanksgiving feast Santa called me over to his office to talk about his Thanksgiving message for the world this year.
“Christmas is about giving” Santa told me “but it’s not about excess. The people of the world need to know that it isn’t about how much money you spend, it truly is the thought that counts. I hate to see people feel like they have to go run up their charge cards to buy every single person they know a gift. Christmas shouldn’t put you in debt for the rest of the year. So this year I want to propose a new/old idea: a homemade Christmas. Dr. Seuss was right. Christmas doesn’t come from a store. In fact, I hope folks will resist the temptations of Black Friday and just stay home for Thanksgiving and enjoy their family. Years from now they will better remember the time they spent better than the money they spent. ”
“Now I’m not saying to not spend money at all” Santa said “but don’t go overboard. Instead of buying new decorations, make some. There is nothing I like to see more when I enter a house than a tree full of homemade ornaments. Instead of buying all of those coworkers a gift card because you don’t know what they like, take them a plate full of homemade cookies and candies or how about a jar of homemade jam. Instead of buying your next door neighbor a box of chocolates, how about a crocheting them a blanket. Get creative, put your skills to use.”
I asked Santa what about the people who are not good with their hands.
“The gift of your time can be just as precious. Santa replied. “Why not babysit for a friend for a couple of hours. How about helping your cousin finish that project they still haven’t completed. Gifts don’t have to be a physical item. In fact most people have more stuff than they need already. So think of a way you can help that person and then do it.”
I told Santa that a lot of people are going to be worried about how other people will react to their gifts.
“The truth is that people love homemade gifts” Santa said. “They show that you took the time to think about what that person might like and then make it. Over the years, studies have shown that most people can’t even remember most of their gifts from last Christmas. The ones that stick in their mind are the ones that most touched them. The ones that showed how much someone cared for them. The ones that people actually put some thought into and that is exactly what a homemade gift is.”
I asked Santa about events. Did he think people should still go out and spend a lot of money to have fun.
“Definitely not” Santa said. “There are tons of things that people can do for free or very little money to have fun during the holidays. Take a walk around your neighborhood to look at the lights. Go caroling. Gather everyone around the tree and watch a Christmas movie on tv. Bake cookies. Have a camp out around your Christmas tree one night. Build a snowman. Go to a parade. There are tons of things that you can do to have fun without spending a lot of money. You just have to be a little creative.”