Holiday more than gifts

By Chris Schmaedeke, QCS managing editor

Christmas season has a different feel to it in current times.

The country is in an economic recession and unemployment is as high as it has been in many years. It seems like everybody you talk to speaks about how money is tight.

It is too easy to get behind in bills and get yourself in a hole. I know that all too well. Families struggle to get gifts for everyone.

Last year I felt the crunch of possibly being unemployed and dealing with the holiday season. I had not lost my job yet in December but odds were pretty high that it was going to happen. They just waited to February.

But now I am employed and can buy gifts for people, but deep down that is not what is important.

Gifts and Christmas seem to go hand in hand. What really should go hand in hand is Christmas and the ones you love and want to spend time with.

Whether it’s your family, your friends or some of your coworkers, spend time with them and have fun. Don’t worry about what is under the tree. Gifts are great and make us feel good but nowadays it’s harder and harder to shower our family and friends with gifts.

When I went Christmas shopping a couple of weekends ago, you would have never known this country was in a recession. The stores were packed and the lines were long. People did not seem to have as many gifts as I have seen in the past but shoppers were still shopping away. Everybody was looking for a deal, including myself, and hoping to find that perfect gift for not a lot of money.

It is the way it has to go right now. Still buy people gifts but look for the best deal. If you can save money, people try to.

Christmas should not be about how much money you spend or how many gifts you have under the tree. No matter what the economic climate is. It should be about time with family and friends and just getting time to relax and enjoy yourself. Getting the chance to catch a “Charlie Brown Christmas” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” on television.

I have not had a chance to see Charlie Brown for the first time in many years and it is killing me, but I did see Rudolph.

Try to get your friends together and go caroling and bring holiday cheer to your neighborhood. And try to help someone out less fortunate this year if you can.

Most of all just kick back with a glass of eggnog (or whatever it is you like to drink or add to that eggnog) and enjoy the company you have this Christmas.

Have a merry Christmas everyone and enjoy and cherish the time you have with the ones you love and care about.