As the holidays approach, we're being bombarded with the usual messages: buy, buy, buy. I don't blame retailers; after all, they're in business to make money so naturally they try every trick in the book in their efforts to convince customers to spend, even if they have little to spare.
People line up days in advance of sales, even sleeping in front of the store. Now they're talking about moving "black Friday", creating "black Thursday", Thanksgiving night. Some retailers won't even allow their employees to spend the entire day and evening with their families. This is insanity.
Driving all of this is an intense materialism that has taken hold of our culture. We seem to have lost the ability to live simply and make our families and friends our first priority. Instead, many people believe they have to have to the latest gadget or the biggest TV, but this is just "stuff" and it won't bring you happiness or peace because there will always be a newer gadget or a bigger TV to be had. Some people say they enjoy giving to others, and that may be true, but the best gift anyone can give is the gift of self.
This holiday season, why don't we try to remember the real meaning of this joyous season? Although many nonbelievers celebrate Christmas, the real purpose of this holy day is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior. He is the only source of true, and lasting, peace and happiness.