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Christmas time again

It’s time again, time to think about shopping, presents and money: How much and where to get it. It seems to me like most of us have already got just about everything there is to get, and some of us have duplicates and spares. And our kids and grandkids are chips off the old blocks, surrounded by stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

I am afraid unlimited buying for our children may set the stage for them to always keep wanting more and never to be satisfied with what they have, for there is always something bigger, better or just different, to be had. The limit has to come from the individual.

Sam and I always had presents for Christmas and our birthdays which we, of course, cherished, but those gifts were nothing compared to the overwhelming deluge that rains down on the child of today on Christmas, birthday, and often in between. We are offering instant gratification in place of instilling the values that foster long-term contentment. We may be setting the children on a search for more and better, that will go through life with them: Spawning hoarding, addictive over-spending and keep-up-with-the-Joneses people, none of which brings happiness.

What Sam and I did get in abundance was day to day time and attention from our parents, and hours of play outside with our friends every day. Simple things, but there is now a great deal of competition for time and interest. Television, computers, cell phones and electronic games have virtually wiped out reading, playing outside and games where you sit across the table from each other and actually communicate with bodily-present people. In some homes even eating meals together is a thing of the past.

I think spending less on presents and trying to spend more time with our children and loved ones would be a good idea. In the grand scheme of things, our time may even be more precious and scarce than our money.

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