Over the weekend, we took the kids downtown Toronto to Nathan Philips Square where we enjoyed a morning of skating and then lunch at the Eaton Center. We took in the sights of the Christmas decorations and of the fun Christmas windows on the Bay.
On the way back to the car, my daughter noticed some homeless people and I tried my best to explain their plight. Before reaching the car garage, a young woman stepped up to me and offered me a Christmas present. I politely declined, but she insisted. I didn't want to create a scene so I took the gift. Earlier outside the Eaton Center, it felt like we were assaulted by vendors, bible-thumpers, and activists and it had definitely put me off and made me even more reluctant to received this gift.
However, I read the card. From one stranger to another, wishing you a very Merry Christmas. I opened the gift. It was a toque and some hot pockets you slip inside of your mittens to stay warm. We didn't really need any of this, so I told my daughter to come with me. We went back up to the street and gave one of the homeless people the gift. The homeless guy was startled saying "Oh My Goodness" and wished us a Merry Christmas.
Damn that felt good. And that was the Christmas Spirit and how its really supposed to feel. It's not about fighting with a million other people in a mall over the latest gadget. It's about taking care of people. I'm an atheist and I find it so sad that the meaning of spirit has been diluted by the commercialism. Oddly though, some of the most Christian followers have embraced the false idol of Christmas commercialism. It's truly sad.
This experience has taught me a lesson I thought I'd share with you. And as well, I'd like to spent the holiday season enjoying friends and family rather than worrying about the commercialism and being happy with what I have, being content with what I have.