There was a video circulating on social media showing a child opening “the only present he wanted for Christmas.” My heart sank as I wondered why the gift wasn’t saved to create a joyous Christmas morning when the surprise and wonder could await under the tree.
It used to be that Christmas presents weren’t opened until December 25 and the clearance sales began on December 26. There were many years that we set out in Black-Friday-Style shopping mode on the day after Christmas to capitalize on the half-price decorations or cards, but now items are at that price a full week before the holiday and gifts are given early as well.
What happened to the value of waiting?
Convenience has stripped a generation of its ability to be patient. No one wants to wait for anything anymore and I fear that the accelerated timetable of just about everything condenses the emotion and obliterates the joy that comes when anticipation is fulfilled. We want everything now and have lost the ability to defer gratification and come to a crescendo.
As you ponder your New Year’s Resolutions, consider including “waiting” on your list. Waiting to speak up so you truly listen to what others say. Waiting before jumping in to fix a problem before someone has the opportunity to problem solve for themselves. Waiting to eat that cookie after dinner until you determine you are truly still hungry. Waiting to spend money until you see if the impulse passes.
Ignore all the impulses of this season and get great at the wait. Patience is a gift that keeps giving.