This is when self-demand takes place, from the inside out, regarding to whom and what presents to give…

There is a contradictory spirit that seems to control the majority of the population at this time. On one hand, there’s Christmas, theoretically, the date of birth of “baby Jesus” (although it has been proven by science that the Lord Jesus was born between the months of March and April), on the other hand, the population is overtaken by rampant consumerism.

Christmas, especially nowadays, is synonymous of gifts, which will measure the level of consideration, appreciation, love and respect. During this season, principles are replaced by material possessions; it’s an unbridled consumerism fed constantly by the media. Notice the ads, it’s all about gifts involving the season, in all social media: it´s a constant bombardment, directed at all ages: starting with children (with toys, games, etc.), followed by the youngsters (mobile phones, gadgets, etc.) and ending with adults, with offers to suit every taste (perfumes, chocolates, watches, trips, clothing, footwear, etc.).

This is the Christmas that we were accustomed to relive year after year, a vicious circle that, whoever does not adhere to it, will automatically feel like they have been excluded. But before anything else, I appeal to your faith, the intelligent one, the one that is not blind, but thinks, meditates and reflects not only on the Word of God, but also on the world around you. Let this faith help you to answer these questions:

  1. DO I NEED THIS PRODUCT, CLOTHES OR OBJECT?
  2. WHAT ARE THEIR BENEFITS FOR MY LIFE?
  3. DOES MY CURRENT FINANCIAL SITUATION ALLOW ME THIS INDULGENCE?
  4. WOULDN’T IT BE BETTER TO HOLD ON TO THIS MONEY AND USE IT ON SOMETHING MORE WORTHWHILE?

A study conducted by the Consumer Payment Report revealed that four in ten Portuguese say they have no money after paying their monthly expenses and 29% consider that they do not have enough money for a decent life. For this reason, a third of Portuguese people consider the possibility to emigrate due to Portugal’s current financial situation, according to a study by Intrum Justitia.

However, the “Christmas spirit” prevails, since we observe how people, even without money, get into debt, buying what they can and what they cannot buy, without looking at their economic condition, making the month of January the longest and most difficult to face, yes, because that is when the bills finally arrive!

Unfortunately, this is also one of the times when most failed and successful suicide attempts take place, because those who have no family or money to give presents to, feel excluded, unhappy, sad and depressed. As if the number of gifts received and given measured their love.

Out of curiosity, do you know where this tradition originated? Well, when the Lord Jesus was born (between March and April), three wise men came with gifts for the Messiah and no one else! Not even Mary or Joseph were mentioned!

Now answer for yourself: Is all of this worth it? In the name of a tradition that has been distorted and manipulated by humans, through religions, with the passage of time?

Dear reader, if you want to give someone a gift, give it to yourself, by overcoming your weaknesses in the way you act and react; your sorrows, tears and worries, because respect and consideration for yourself, others and vice versa is better than a material gift.

It is in the family circle, between parents, children and siblings, where most of the gift exchanging takes place in Christmas time, however, think about the following:

What is the gift that any child wants to get from their parent throughout the year?
Love, respect, displays of affection, concern and interest in their future…

What is the gift that any parent wants to receive from their child the entire year?
Respect, love, affection, appreciation for their teachings…

In other words, these values, unlike material goods, do not fade or deteriorate; on the contrary, they remain and overcome the test of time. Invest in these values this season, and if you are to give somebody a gift, let it be something that time, by no means, will corrupt.
Some practical advice to “survive ” this season:

  • Always question yourself on whether what you are purchasing is really important FOR YOU!
  • Instead of buying gifts, call people you care about, but especially those who are somehow keeping a distance from you due to grudges or any other reason.
  • If you have to spend money, do it on basic things, do it for a moment of fellowship or a meal among family and friends.
  • Do not pawn your life because of a festive occasion that is more about commercial reasons and manipulating the masses than anything else.
  • Evaluate well what your priorities are, because in the end, you’re the one paying the bill!

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