Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Xmas is upon us

         Greetings, my name is Esteban Ortiz, member of the Immigrant and Refugee Service Corps. The holidays are upon us again, and what I personally like about the holidays is time spent with family and loved ones- that is the reason I have always looked forward to the holidays. A big concern that I have noticed over time is how our culture and society here in the United States have emphasized that the holidays are about gifts and materialistic items.

I am going to share a personal story about obsession with the materialistic culture we live in:

        I lived in Mexico until the age of twelve when my mom decided she did not want to live in Mexico after all and wanted to be closer to her family. So we moved to south Texas, an area known as the Rio Grande valley. When we arrived in the United States, my mother’s parents (kind of) helped us get adjusted to life in the United States. Of course, in the U.S. people need a car to get around, so my mother’s parents sold us a beat up Cutlass Supreme.

        One Sunday evening we were visiting my mother’s parents when my cousins and I decided to play hide-and-seek. They had a great dining table that they always told us not to touch. Personally, I did not see what the big deal was about the dining table, and I thought the best place to hide was under it. None of my cousins were able to find me. Suddenly, as I was hiding, I heard my grandfather screaming at my mother as they walked into the living room that was across the dining room.

         My mother was getting screamed at by her own dad about this old Cutlass Supreme- he was extremely mad that my mother was not going to be able to pay him the one hundred dollars that she owed him for the car. The reason my mother told him she would not be able to pay him was because she had to buy all four of us brothers and sisters school clothes and school supplies. His response to my mother’s excuse was that he really did not care about us or if we had clothes for the upcoming school year. (He was also my godfather.) All he wanted was his one hundred dollars.

         In conclusion, I challenge you and everybody especially if you’re a religious leader to focus what the holidays are truly about: family. Because material and monetary things can always be replaced, but a life and soul can never be replaced. Neither can time spent with family and loved ones. Those are the moments to be cherished.

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