Saturday, December 20, 2008

Finding the real reason for the holiday season

The headline of my local newspaper shows that retail sales in San Antonio are down signficantly, and there are some ads that show some outrageous deals. In the past couple of years, I have really tried to avoid the hype of the holidays. Despite the onslaught of ads and marketing messages, I want to focus on what really matters -- quality time with friends and family. For me, I would much rather spend some quality time with my son, Peter, playing chess or teaming up with him against his step mum and his step sister in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Here's a hope that we can focus on other things than gifts. I like the gift giving attitude of Kevin Koym, one of the founding fathers for Tech Ranch. Instead of buying gifts, he's going to donate money to microlending firms so that people less fortunate can build a business. As he said yesterday over lunch: "A $25 loan can help a small business guy build a better way to distribute tortillas in Honduras."

I admire people like Kevin who don't get caught up in the hype of the holidays. It's hard for most of us to realize we have a closet full of clothes and a pantry with everything we need. The endless blitz of holiday advertising messages compels us to buy and buy and buy things to spread the holiday job. However, I think my friend, Kev, has a better focus on the holiday.

Here's hoping that more of us see the value of spreading our holiday wealth with those who need it more. And, here's a hope that those of you reading this will find a holiday filled with the spirit of the season.

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