It's been Christmas vacation. I haven't been writing stuff. I've been playing with my daughter, playing with my toys, watching movies, and drinking beers. You should be too (differing in particulars perhaps, but the same categorically).
However, I will take this time for a brief reflection. Some people make the yearly lament that Christmas has become too commercial and materialistic. I will not deny this entirely. But, there is a difference between material things, and materialism.
Materialism is certainly a bad idea, and one of its major effects is to miss out on the goodness of material things. If all we acknowledge or think about is the moving, trading, and amassing of matter, that is certainly a bad thing. Bad and pointless and bleak.
But, my daughter's mint green and pink rocking chair (just her size, with room to grow) is not just matter. It isn't just wood. It's her "rocking chair from Santa," as she declares while rocking in it.
Material things can be given generously. They can be received with gratitude. They can be beautiful, delightful, enlightening, and enlivening. People aren't so attracted to them for nothing.
We must guard against treating them as more important than they are. We also have to guard against treating them as less.
Merry Christmas, everybody. Go have a cookie and play with a train set or something.
© 2014 John Hiner III