Posted by Matt Bush

Makinson Eating

I have to be honest about something to start with…I did go shopping on Black Friday.  I am not necessarily against Black Friday in general, but it is definitely not my favorite day of the year by any means.  It is a tradition for my family in LaGrange for us to go either to Newnan or Columbus and shop, so we do it.  I am not saying that Black Friday is evil, and I am not writing about the affect of selfishness or materialism on Christmas, I simply want to bring up a point that Jess and I discussed as we were shopping that day.

As we were walking around and seeing the ridiculous amount of money that was being spent, I made the simple comment, “I wonder what our kids are doing right now.”  They definitely weren’t shopping, they weren’t fighting crowds to buy a new ipad or new clothes, and they weren’t stopping to have a nice lunch at Smokey Bones (the restaurant where we ate lunch).  When we were on our way to the mall, our kids were probably just finishing up their 4 mile walk to school.  They then attended school in 90 degree heat without air conditioning followed by another 4 mile walk back home.  When they got home, they were greeted by Audancin, Rosie, and Marjorie who was fixing their dinner of rice and beans.  They then, hopefully, did their homework and maybe played a little soccer before it got dark, at which time they went to bed because there are no lights there.

What a different experience.

I am not writing this to make us feel sorry for our kids or so that anyone who is reading this will feel bad about how they spent their Black Friday.  I am simply writing about what Jess and I discussed and felt that day.  Which experience was better…I don’t know.  I know which one was more comfortable, but I am not sure which one was better.  In the midst of Black Friday you can see why people forget about what Christmas truly is, our kids don’t have that distraction.  In the midst of Black Friday, you can tell why we get caught up in materialism…our kids don’t have that possibility.  There are plenty of other distractions and things that can take our children’s focus off of Christ, I know that, but I am not at all upset that they will never have to deal with this distraction.

Here is our challenge for Christmas, and for our life for that matter…

Let’s figure out a way to not get distracted by the materialism that has taken over our culture and our mindset.  I don’t know how to do that, I think the first step is to realize that it is a problem.  There are a lot of people who are reading this that will both spend and receive over $500 in gifts for and from others in the next month alone.  We don’t realize how crazy that is.  That same amount of money is, and this is not a figurative number, almost twice as much as billions (yes BILLIONS) of people in the world make in a whole year.  Mothers, Fathers, grandparents, etc. make this much money in a whole year and have to take care of their families somehow.  

I realize that this post was a little disorganized.  I plan on posting again about Christmas and hopefully getting to the point across a little easier, but it is hard to comprehend how things should change.  I have lived in this culture with this mindset for my whole life, and I am just now beginning to realize how crazy it really is.  

So, You guys help me out…What do you think?  Is there something wrong here or not?  How do we change or do we need to?  Is this just because we are moving and are out of touch?


6 Responses to CHRISTMAS

  1. Ruth Liples says:

    Matt, I know how you and Jess feel. vinnie and I have discussed this issue so often. It’s amazing how happy and well adjusted your kids are. I know how i feel about Claudy and rezimond. I look at things and wonder how they would react if they visited certain places or had different clothes. I had to remind teams not to compare the two worlds. They are so different and not to feel sorry for those that are different but to cherish the time they spent there. And please go home and change some little thing about your world to make you more appreciative and grateful to God for what he has given you. Not everyone can live in haiti but we can all pray and love those that do. You and Jess have been given a great blessing. I know you both will be happy and raise the children with love and kindness. Bless you both. And someday we will visit and witness a big, happy family!!!

  2. Katie Willis says:

    I love buying my kids things for Christmas- love it! Remember how magical it was waking up Christmas morning with gifts from Santa? I want my kids to have the same experience we did. I also want to teach them to give- we buy for a family at my school and we buy for sweet Vageley– but I am so thankful we have the resources to make their Christmas magical– I agree with not making it all about that, though. Christmas should be about the birth of Christ– but it can be magical in both ways– great post and I do agree with you, but I also feel this way, too.

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