Christmas stuff doesn’t satiate the spirit

Steve Lyon
The material side of Christmas –
the gifts, the stuff – doesn’t fill
you up much as you get older.
I saw a quote somewhere the other
day that offered salient commentary on
the topic. It was pithy but also slightly
As you get older, your
Christmas list gets shorter
because the best gifts are
things that money can’t buy.
All that stuff, whether it’s a
solid gold Rolex watch or a
2020 Lexus, just doesn’t satiate
the spirit.
Those things are nice to
have, and I suppose they
represent the trappings of
success, but do they bring
real happiness?
For some people, the endless
holiday advertising with
its hyped exhortion to buy can lead to
feelings of depression, which is quite
contrary to the premise of the season.
As an astute observer of popular culture,
the comical irony of conspicuous
consumerism abounds this time of year.
The parking lot at the Townsquare
Mall in Boise is packed in the days leading
up to Christmas with shoppers.
It’s packed again the day after Christmas
with people returning gifts. Back
for more shopping? All that stuff must
not have meant a whole lot.
I don’t want to sound Scooge-ish,
but you’ll never feel the
same way you did as a kid
at Christmas, surrounded
by the love and emotional
warmth of your family. It
won’t happen no matter how
much stuff you buy.
Those memories cannot
be duplicated or recreated or
relived as an adult. You have
to find the joy of the season
in other ways.
I have those memories of
wonderful Christmas days
gone by many years ago.
They pop into my head on
cue every December.
Sure, for kids a pile of presents under
the tree from old Santa Claus early
Christmas morning provokes unabashed
Even though it was a holiday for my
hard-working dad, my two brothers and
I were not going to let him or my mom
sleep in. We waited until the reasonable
hour of 7 a.m. to dive into the gifts.
I guess everyone has momentous
presents they received as kids. I know
I did.
My first bike was a speedy little red
one. I don’t recall the brand name. I was
out doing stunts later that afternoon, ripping
down rodeo hill at Tautphus Park.
“Look mom. No hands. Look mom.
No teeth.” I jest, of course, but I recall
that little red bike fondly.
Another year, my two brothers and
I received sleds. Dressed in layers, we
sledded until dark.
The year my brothers and I received
BB guns was a bad year for birds. I have
repented for the demise of the birds that
As a teen, I remember getting a Wildcat
stereo from Sears. There were practical
gifts, like clothes, a watch.
These are the things I am thankful for
this Christmas. My parents are still here.
We have our health. My brothers are doing
fine. No tragedies. What more could
you ask for?
Steve Lyon is the editor of the Weiser
Signal American. Contact him at


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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