Here we are coming up on yet another Christmas holiday and something quite profound has just struck me in regards to this generational tradition. Now, I was recently watching a video about fast food, in which it was mentioned that Ronald McDonald is most recognized by children second only to Santa Claus. I believe it was in this video here: The Dark Side of Fast Food: Why Does It Make You Sick / Fat / Tired / Taste So Good (2001) which was very eye-opening and informative on the fast food industry and it's impacts and so I suggest to watch it, however in this blog we're talking about Santa Claus, and this interesting fact, that Santa Claus is the most recognizable fictional character by children.
What this shows is just how pervasive the Santa Claus story is. Meaning, that many, many, many of us are raised with this story. The story of Santa Claus and how on he manages to deliver presents to all children. Well, just those who have been nice, and not those who have been 'naughty'. What shocked me about this is that in a world where billions are living in poverty and most assuredly do not get any kinds of presents at any time of the year, let alone have their basic needs met, what are we doing giving children the extremely false idea that apparently everyone is going to be taken care of, and if you aren't, it's because you were naughty.
I remember myself as a child, thinking, 'man that is so cool' because it makes sense that everybody should be enjoying themselves and be taken care of. But, the reality is anything but that. And more and more of us are feeling that reality as it becomes harder and harder to make a living and pay all the bills, let alone have enough for gifts.
It truly is an elitist holiday, as only those who are lucky enough to have 'extra money' can participate, and those who don't are just out of luck, and have to watch everyone else being jolly and giving gifts, while feeling bad that they can't give the gift they'd like to, because that is a big part of what Christmas has become, proving to our family how much we love them by buying them stuff. And this is no joke, we will experience these things, I know because I went through it myself in a rough year where I had no money for gifts and I felt horrified because I couldn't participate in the gift giving like everyone else, and I dreaded what others would think of me when I would receive a gift from them but they would get none from me in return. I feared that they would be disappointed, like they missed out on an opportunity to have received a free thing, because really that is what Christmas has become about. And that they would think less of me because they had given me a gift but got nothing in return, and I mean, we will think/say these things. And all of this is really petty when we look at what is really going on in the world.
No Christmas Puppies, Please! and Many pets given as Christmas gifts end up in shelters, animal advocates say, which shows how an idyllic picture in mind “of floppy-eared puppies peering innocently out of a colorful gift box” meets up with reality, and the cute puppy ends up in a shelter, where many pets are euthanized due to lack of space.
So if the picture of cute puppies in our mind helps us to ignore and not consider the reality of what having a pet and being responsible for another living being entail, then what affect does giving children the impression that we all get presents every year as long as we're 'nice' have, in a world with massive global poverty?
living in abject poverty? Could you tell them a fat man is going to come and give them a present? Would you tell a homeless child on the street that if they are nice Santa will visit their cardboard box? Obviously not, because they are going to see the reality pretty quick. So why do we tell any children this lie at all? Especially when it's the children who are in positions of support who can then grow up thinking that life is good to you if you are good, and if you're poor you must have done something wrong, you must have been 'naughty' or you are 'just lazy'. Who grow up to be the adults who could actually make a difference in this world, whereas those in poverty are stuck in poverty.
What we are teaching our children is to believe in a fairytale nice story and ignore reality, but what this leads to is the problems in our reality are ever increasing, and eventually no one would be able to hide from it in a nice fantasy.
And all this may sound bleak, and that is because the situation is bleak indeed, and yet, all we need to do, it is so simple really, is to face the problems, and sort them out. And then we can live in a world where Christmas is not in reality a dirty lie, a world where all children really are supported, where you really are gifted with a life worth living, where Holiday Cheer is not something that's forced out of habit and fear of not conforming. I mean, it's like we fear more to be different and do something different from the crowd and what everyone else is doing, that we would participate in what we really can't pretend anymore to be a 'positive' thing, as it's become all about consumerism and is one of the most stressful times of the year.
You don't have to be a part of the deception. One by one we can set ourselves free by living the example that you don't have to go along with this mass illusion, and become an individual that shows that it really is ok to stick to reality, it really is ok to not have to exchange gifts and find a gift for everyone, it really is ok to let go of a fairytale, so that we can get down to earth and focus on making reality what it should be: A Joy for All Any Time of the Year.
The Living Income Guaranteed is THE Gift to give ourselves, as an act of real caring, to show that we are beings that don't just believe in fantasy utopian stories, but actually care to make reality match up to the principles we pay lip service to, and make sure that no child has to suffer at Christmas time again, to put in place the support that would make sure that all children actually could have a Merry Christmas.