Holiday season too materialistic


My “sister from another mister,” Linda, has decided to start her own event planning business.

She called the other night and asked if I wanted to tag along while she shopped for flower pots to use at an upcoming wedding.

Of course, I said “yes.”

We went to a couple of retail stores and couldn’t find anything comparable to what she needed. Most of the pots we browsed through weren’t big enough.

What we saw instead were rows and rows, and shelves stocked with Christmas decorations.

Are you kidding me?

Man, we haven’t even gotten to All Hallows Eve or Thanksgiving, yet.

She expressed her discontent, loud enough for shoppers to hear two or three rows down.
Surprisingly, I kept quiet.

We’ve become a commercialized and materialistic society concerning the holidays.

Everyone either searches for that one perfect gift or camps out to get the latest electronic gadgets, particularly those who like to play video games.

I know we’re less than two months away from celebrating that glorious time of year when we recognize the birth of our Lord.

Have we lost the true meaning of Christmas?

A dear friend of mine sent me a message that said, “Beginning December 1, read one chapter in the Book of Luke per day. By the time Christmas Eve rolls around, you would have read about the entire life of Jesus.”

What a wonderful suggestion.

I can’t wait to grab a cup of hot chocolate, wrap up in a blanket and dive into that story.

One Christmas Eve, mom and I watched “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.”

The movie took place in rural Virginia during the Depression.

The Walton family eagerly awaited the return of patriarch John, who had been working 50 miles away in another state, on Christmas Eve. Their concern grew when they heard a radio report about a bus overturning and prayed that John was not on the bus.

Olivia sent her oldest son, John Boy, to search for his daddy. He runs out of gas and hesitates to seek assistance from the Baldwin sisters.

What follows is a series of eye-opening experiences woven into one story line — Christmas isn’t about giving or receiving gifts. The season’s greatest present is being surrounded by family, friends and making memories that last a lifetime.

OK, I’m sure I’ve bored you and caused a few yawns.

But I have one more thing to share.

One Christmas my Grandma Harris bought some gaudy orange stockings to give to the grandchildren. She emptied each one, separated the items in different piles and then refilled the stockings.

She passed them out on Christmas Eve. We all had the same amount of fruits, nuts and candy.

We felt like Grandma Harris had given us a million bucks. We all went into an adjoining bedroom, sat on the floor and dumped out our stockings.

What a feast we had.

And what an awesome Christmas memory we had been given.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at


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