Christmas “Present”

You know it’s pretty bad when the hype of one holiday begins nearly two months ahead of time. Is it any wonder that, by the time Christmas arrives, we’re completely burned out?

I’m tired of the pressure to buy, buy, buy, and doubly astounded by the willingness of people to accumulate more debt, buying things nobody needs, just to keep up to a certain status. Furthermore, I feel disgusted by the materialism that seems so prevalent in our society today, particularly during this time of year. The “Holiday Season” has become a monstrosity, in my opinion. The hype brings about a certain ugly competitiveness, which manifests itself through a constant brag-fest about what people WANT for Christmas. “Oh, you’re getting {insert unnecessary overpriced gadget here}? Well I’m getting the {insert a BETTER brand/model unnecessary overpriced gadget here}.” Ah, the joy of making other people envious…

The best gifts of all cost very little. The best Christmases I remember were more focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I also recall when we didn’t see a hint of Christmas before it was time and we were actually happy with the token presents and fruit in our stockings. Spending time with family meant more than the 50,000 presents under the tree. We didn’t hear stories of violence breaking out during shopping sprees on Black Friday.

What if we used our money to effect change in the way businesses handle Christmas? What if we stopped buying anything associated with Christmas until the first day of December? What if we decided to promote spending less? What if we could reduce the pressure to buy for everybody and lessen the expectations that we have to have a pile of gifts to not feel deprived or cheated. What if the presents we gave promoted togetherness, not isolation? What if we focused on the true meaning of Christmas instead of using it to accumulate more stuff?

This year, Christmas will be very different for my family. We’ll concentrate less on the presents bought in stores. Instead, we will cherish the time we have with each other because we’ve been reminded, during the past several months, just how drastically things can change in such a short time.

Money simply cannot buy the things that matter the most.

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