I know that many will misunderstand this, but I have to admit that Christmas doesn't mean anything (positive) to me anymore. Go ahead and throw the Scrooge accusations my way. I probably deserve them. But the holiday that used to be my all-time favorite is now the time of year I dread the most. I've done some soul searching and asked myself "what's changed?".

As a kid, I used to literally count the days till Christmas.  Who doesn't love toys?  What's ironic is it's now the "toys" that have ruined Christmas for me.  We can pretend that Christmas is still about celebrating the birth of Jesus.  But, the truth in our society is for many people, Christmas is about "stuff".  Stores open earlier than ever now as soon as Thanksgiving is done (and sometimes even before it's done) just to sell you more stuff.  Cause we all know that the people you love will love you more as long as you get them the best "stuff".  Something in my heart feels that something is very very wrong here.

I've gotten to the point where I don't even want gifts anymore.  I hate watching TV and seeing the barrage of commercials advertising the latest and greatest.  Radio is no better.  I'm not anti-Capitalism.  Businesses (and people that work at those businesses) have to make a living.  I just really feel like something important is being lost though now that Christmas has become the focal point of all this selling.

I still hold out a glimmer of hope though thanks to several things that also happen this time of year.  More people than ever helped us in our Load the Lobby campaign to help out less fortunate children.  The folks at Lullabelle's in Hannibal once again served free meals to hundreds of people in need yesterday.  And, the Quincy Salvation Army continues to be there when many need them most.

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Am I alone in my thoughts? Does Christmas still mean to you what it once did? This is one case where I really hope I'm the only one that feels this way. As for me, I'm thrilled that Christmas is now over.