We focus on gifts, not the holiday as we should

With the holidays approaching, everybody has a list of items that they either want or plan to buy. Then, that list of items for your family ends up being a priority rather than the holiday itself. It all starts with Black Friday; the day after Thanksgiving dedicated to buying everybody’s favorite items for a discounted price — especially technological devices. The hype with Black Friday is that you have a few fleeting hours to shop before your $25 printer turns into a $100 printer. Everybody loves gifts but that doesn’t mean you have to wait in line for hours to buy a discounted PS4 for your loved one so they know that you care for them. Would it be so bad if gifts weren’t given this year?

The meaning of the holidays has slowly diminished. Gifts bring emotional pleasure and happiness — remember how happy you were when you saw that bike you always wanted waiting for you on Christmas morning? We strive for that element of surprise on a yearly basis, trying to top each year with bigger and better gifts, but the holidays shouldn’t be about materialism.

We focus on the gifts because we know materialistic items brings joy and satisfaction. Each year, new gadgets are released and over the past few years GoPro camera, drones and new iPhones have been at the top of many people’s wishlists. This year, the iPhone X costs approximately $1000. Even though it is expensive, consumers will go out of their way to wait in line and purchase them because of the cool features the gadget has. Yet, the older I get, the more I understand why the holiday season affects many of those without families. Nobody wants to be alone during a time of gathering, sharing and loving. For a few years, my mom and I were alone because my brother was away serving in Afghanistan and in Japan. None of my international family or any out-of-state family came to visit . It was quite lonesome for us, which might allude to sadness, but frankly I realized that the holidays are much better when you’re surrounded with friends and family.

Gadgets and gifts are only satisfactory for a few days, but those items can break or malfunction anytime. That doesn’t compare to the memories made during the holidays. Families getting together baking foods, watching sports and talking about whether or not you have a boyfriend make the holidays memorable. This year, my brother will return from the military and my grandma came over from Venezuela. I will be turning 21, and am reminded that adulting can really stink as you gain more responsibilities and get your ducks in a row, but it offers an insight to understanding the value of friendship and family. There’s no better time to gain this insight than being surrounded by family during the holidays.

So this holiday season, try to eat an abundance of turkey and other goods; talk to your family and actually listen to them; reminisce about the “good ole days;” take awkward photos; laugh a bunch and love lots because the best gifts are the ones you can’t buy.

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