By: Morgan Deal
I look forward to the holidays every year, and as cliché as it sounds, the holidays are my favorite time of the year. Who doesn’t love all the food and the great messages and values that are spread around this time of the year? However, the past few Christmases haven’t been the same. I’ve noticed that the holidays have adopted a different meaning, one that isn’t the best.
It is shameful to think of what the meaning of the holidays have come to. I think Amy Grant puts it best in her song “I Need a Silent Night” when she says people try to buy Christmas peace. A defining characteristic of the modern holiday season is stores packed with people pushing and shoving to get the latest toy or gadget for their loved ones. It’s as if buying the greatest thing you can get your hands on will make the holidays golden. In actuality, the emphasis of the “perfect gift” makes the holidays more stressful, and I find myself looking forward to the holidays less and less.
Historically, the holidays have been a time in the year to rejoice and celebrate; giving gifts was just a form of celebration. Lately it’s become the sole purpose of the holidays. When the topic of the holidays comes up in conversation, all people can think about is what presents they are going to get from various family members and friends. The classic holiday themes of thinking of others, giving back to your community, and being thankful are kicked to the curb and never mentioned. Stores and businesses are encouraging this growing holiday greed as well by coming up with clever slogans to lure frenzied shoppers. Don’t get me wrong, I love going holiday shopping for my family and close friends; it’s one of my favorite parts about the holiday season. When I was younger, I would get so excited to run down on Christmas morning and see what Santa had brought. However, the intense commercialism of the holidays is quite disturbing, because it has blown a seemingly innocent aspect of the holidays way out of proportion. Exchanging gifts, which was once a simple way to celebrate has been changed to the most important and defining aspect of Christmas as a whole, and it’s all people can seem to think about. People begin to lose sight of the things that matter most.
No matter what religion you practice, the holiday season should be about giving thanks, spending time with family and giving back. The number one focus should not be about presents and all the other things that come along with them. This season, focus on spreading love.