Now that November is here, shopping malls and department stores can go nuts selling Christmas. You know, the time of year that’s been hijacked by places like Toys R Us. The month when people stress out about getting everything on their list done. All while paying with plastic.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. Meeting friends that perhaps you haven’t had the chance to meet in a few months. Cocktail parties. Cookies. Spending time with family. Sitting by the fire. Watching Christmas movies that never get old. Going to church on Christmas Eve. But I just find the materialistic aspect so gross. Over the top. Unnecessary.
And every year it seems that people talk about where they are going to put all the toys that their children and where they will keep them. Yet this seems to continue year after year. I wonder how many of those toys will the children actually play with and how many will be thrown in the yard sale pile after a few months. Or several years later, will all those toys matter to the children or will the memory of special traditions be what lives on?
One evening in Morocco our group decided to take a walk through a small, farming village. Not one toy was to be found. Yet the streets were filled with laughter as the children ran around, playing with one another. They looked out for each other. They didn’t have any powerful bikes or fancy swing sets to play on. Yet they laughed and seemed to be full of happiness. Seeing this made me actually change my mind about children. Rethink my stance.
In fact, I’d say this simple walk through the village was one of the highlights of my trip. Seeing that children don’t need every toy out of the Wish Book made me happy. And that they were outside playing rather than holed up in front of a computer or video game. I don’t think a child psychologist would survive in this village.
I’d love to share photos of the beautiful, happy children, but out of respect I have posted just a photo of the streets that seem to be enough for these precious little ones.