Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Christmas Competition

     When I first started this blog, I wrote a lot about a mission trip I went on the summer I graduated from high school. Eventually, I started to feel like I was writing about it too much and not really getting my point across, and probably being just a little bit annoying. I started to write about it less, but I still think about the friends I met there every day. I'm hoping that I've waited long enough, and acquired enough new readers that I can talk about it again without driving everybody crazy.
     There is something about the Christmas season that makes me miss Honduras more intensely than I usually do. I can't help but think of all of the children there and so many other places around the world who "Santa" will not visit. For these children, there will be no wishlist written, no Christmas party planned by a caring teacher, no presents to open. December 25th will not bring an end to poverty, suffering, or injustice. For so many people, it will be just another day, and that is really making me sad this year. I feel like I did in Honduras, like I want to fix it but don't know how.
     Here in the U.S., Christmas has become so festive that it's almost overwhelming. We are so blessed that  many of us are able to celebrate so extravagantly, but I can't help but wonder if maybe, in some ways, we are the ones at a disadvantage. We are bombarded from every direction with information about all of the things we supposedly need to have the perfect Christmas, and even the most grounded people must feel inferior at some point. I remember being so excited one Christmas morning when I was a child to receive my second American Girl Doll, the pinnacle of girlhood toys in those days, only to have the wind knocked out of my sails by a friend who had received her second and third doll that same day. Those dolls are not cheap, and I was more than lucky to get even one, but part of me still felt a little jealous.
     Here's where I think the disadvantage comes in. The children at the orphanage we went to in Honduras were poor, but they didn't have much access to things that told them so. They couldn't watch T.V. and see commercials for toys they weren't getting, they couldn't text friends to hear about the latest trend they were missing out on. I am in no way trying to say that they are lucky for the circumstances they live in, I am only suggesting that perhaps they were spared the unnecessary stress that we can't help but put ourselves through when we are able to see what everyone else has.
     I'm still sad that so many children around the world will never get to experience the kind of Christmas that I did as a child, and I wish there was something I could do about it. But for now, it is what it is, and although that makes me sad, at least I can take comfort in the fact that it has made me stop and realize how lucky I am to have experienced so many December 25th's that were so much more than just an ordinary day.

No comments:

Post a Comment