Change your thinking, change your life!

Have Yourself A Very
Balanced Christmas

YouTube [8min] | MP3 [8min]

by Floyd Maxwell, BASc

Have Yourself A Very
Balanced Christmas

What is the one gift no child asked for at Christmas?

Some wanted sports gear, others wanted video games. Maybe a new sister or brother made the wish list. Or the latest from the rectangular interlocking block people, a stuffed animal or a bike. The list is endless, as is the list of lists.

No matter our financial state, or the degree we buy into Christmas giving, we all get presented with the ultimate challenge. How do we give, and receive, exactly the right amount of gifts?

Harmony and balance is the last thing
the Global Elite want, because such people
are impossible to control.
- David Icke

This is no small problem. One here or there is no big deal, really. But factor in being selected by the Lions club, becoming related to richer family relatives or having one parent compete with another for their now divided children's affections and you have a problem that seemed like a great one to have, at first.

Charity is not balance

December 25th may be the day of the year when the most people give something to someone else, the most soup is served into deserving soup bowls at the homeless shelter, and when the most people put their feet up and recuperate their work-weary bones.

But balance is not achieved on Christmas day.

Buddhism teaches that all life is suffering. What a rotten bunch of pessimists those vagabonds must be.

How on Earth could Christmas be a day of suffering?

It has a history

If everyone alive was over 21 years of age, things would be different. We would box up our tins of chocolate and seal up our cards secure in knowing we would be receiving the same things from our wonderful friends.

Kids don't want chocolate. They rip through wrapping paper without regard and often can't even read the cards. Their bottom line is presents.

And so it came to pass, in cities throughout the world, that Christmas would unavoidably and eternally be a heart-breaker.


If we are given gifts each year on the same day, how can we not expect them? Yet, if they are gifts, how can we expect them?

If last year we got 2 video games, how can we settle for just one this year?

And what about those out-of-range gifts? One child likes to read, the other likes computers. Ten books seems like a lot until that new monitor is turned on. The calculator buttons are punched, the zeroes don't line up and eventually tears are going to be shed.


Well, there is no unless. No happy ending. There will be heartbreak, and it is really just a matter of how much and by who(m).

Take a seemingly safe scenario, all your children getting ten major gifts this year. Drowning in gifts. Saturation bombed with them. Enough to make a land fill shift.

Ideal, right?

Nope. Your children will, with certainty, miss the most important lesson of them all. The lesson of balance.

I'll have a side order of balance

Balance is not something you can teach with words alone. Balance can never take a day or week off -- drinking too much at Club Med finds you in front of the same white telephone as the one at your local bar. You smoke, your kids smoke. You pig out daily and you'll be raising piglets.

Which brings us back to the mother of all emotional times. A time when the vast majority of us want to do our very best, to give the most to the most for the most seemingly good reasons. Who among us suspects that we can be our own worst enemies at a time like this?

Ebenezer Scrooge. And the devil. But we repeat ourselves.

None of us want to be him, or them, so we quickly dismiss any misgivings we may have and wash away our guilt with another round of egg nog and shopping.

We punish balance

Recently Kobe Bryant played a terrible fourth quarter. In fact, he boycotted the fourth quarter. Refused to play it at all. Turned his back on his fans. Scrooge McBryant became his nom-de-plume.

Investigation revealed that after outscoring the entire opposing team for three quarters of a game, by himself, Kobe McDevil refused to pound them further below ground in the fourth. Oh, the humanity. There outta be a law.

Actually these days there is -- the press.

The real villain

The press could hound the spots off a dalmation. This situation was their Christmas come true, the question they could keep on asking.

Simultaneously, Kobe's nemesis, the diesel, was going his usual christmasy way instead. A school bus full of presents for all the needy girls and boys.

A Charles Dickens story brought to life. Good versus evil. I think I just got chills.

Two wrongs make a right

Yet both super-sized superstars were right. Or wrong. Trying to ease, or induce, suffering can bring the same thing. When we impose it on others.

Everything is relative.

Enough for one is for sure too much for another. Too much of anything is poison, too little of the thing we long for is an unquenchable hunger.

And the solution is?

So, is there no way to achieve balance in Christmas gift giving? Not that I know of. Sorry. No magic punchline here either.

The only way to avoid the Christmas blues is to one-up them. Find a more powerful diesel, a loftier Kobe, out-spend Saint Nick.

Or teach your kids to love learning.

Sing it with me

Learning is the only thing that allows us to pitch a no-loser. To share a loaf or a fish indefinitely. And keep our landfills from turning into stuffed computer trash icons at the same time.

Learning, brought to you by electrons, photons and neurons. Supply unlimited.

Learning, Nature's first photocopier, scanner AND printer.

Learning, the magical activity that frees us from a single color of brick road, a single P.C. name for Mr. & Mrs. Claus, a single type of protein to eat, a single sided view of the Middle East daymare and a single time to wish others the very best.

Simplify, simplify

One of the things I have learned over the years is that a football makes a better gift than a video game, because it can involve many people at once, never needs a reboot or upgrade and has no 'i' in it to boot.

We have half a dozen footballs at our house. On keychains, kid-sized, foam and of course several full-sized warriors sporting varying numbers of time, wind and rain-hardened battle scars. The latest one is a foam-pellet stuffed football-shaped chair for the kids. To go with the new basketball and soccer ball ones.

Call it my kind of kid-targeted advertising.

Fight the powers

Money is our one true national monument. Let's keep this psychopath from taking over our souls as well.

We get religion drip drip dripped on us enough, we sure don't need that acid at Christmas.

Children are born out of balance. It is up to us to present them with better choices.

Set your kids free

Learning is freedom.

Freedom to never want to smoke again. Or drink again. Or hurt a loved one again.

Learning is like a fabric guard, protecting you from lobby group funded notions like "Dead animals, it's what's for dinner".

Learning makes marketing slogans more honest. "Have some nitric acid, emulsifiers, caffeine, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup ...and a smile"!

Balance, the exactly right thing to do.

The formula

Learning + effort + time + trial & error can bring balance into our life. External forces will always conspire to take it from us.

So don't look for balance in your stockings, or under the tree -- this year or next.

Santa's Christmas presents are all certified 100% balance-free. It seems that "His Nibbs" gives the most valuable gifts the year round and doesn't believe he can teach balance in a single day. At least not without starting a revolution.

Merry Christmas.

Floyd Maxwell

Other writings

Site Map