I happen to be the happy father of two Millenials……neither of whom are particularly interested in physical possessions. Not that they don’t like good stuff, but they don’t want much stuff….and certainly no stuff with minimal usefulness. So on that cultural basis, we are evolving to a new plane.
Christmas in my generation has traditionally been a giving of stuff….a new toy to a new pair of socks. Here is the problem today: I don’t need a new toy or a new pair of socks. So the new big question is this: how do we express the spirit of giving at Christmas without the giving of physical stuff?
Here is what we are coming up with so far in our family ruminations:
- It must be useful.
- Or it must be consumable.
- Or it must be charitable.
Frankly, I think #3 is the most highly evolved. Giving unconditionally. Giving to those most struggling with some difficulty. Our DNA is programmed for survival which means our default setting is selfishness. The truth is this: our survival depends on caring about our fellow citizens. As the recently late Leonard Cohen wrote: “Love is the only engine of survival.” Regardless, we need to look to the needs of others. A world that exists on selfish desires is a world bent on self destruction.