The Season of Shopping

Today’s material society has all but forgotten the meaning of the holiday season. A time once meant for giving and helping others has become the biggest commercial holiday of the year. People stand in lines for hours to get the perfect gifts while ignoring the roots of this all-important time of the year.

Ever since its beginning, the Christmas holiday strove to help the less fortunate. Saint Nicholas himself spent his fortune helping the poor and yet, today, that message has been lost. Although charities often get a lot of support at this time of the year, this support does not come anywhere close to what businesses make. The commercialization of the holiday season destroyed its meaning. Even Saint Nicholas has become part of the insanity. Companies use Santa Claus as a marketing ploy to capitalize on the season. The man himself probably would not endorse what Christmas has become. At a time when people should take a moment to appreciate what they have, they stand in lines just to get their hands on big screen televisions.

Sometimes even families get overlooked. This was especially true this year when the holiday shopping season started only a few hours after people had Thanksgiving dinner. It was even worse for those who had to work on the holiday. Sadly, this is the growing trend. Who knows, next year the sales may start on Thanksgiving itself. The holiday season is one of the few times of the year when entire families can get together, however, shopping overshadows the importance of family.

In today’s fast-paced society, time for family is short and far between. The holidays should be a time to take advantage of seeing cousin Jimmy’s adorable little girl and catching up with Uncle Rob. It is a time to relax and spend time with the people that may be forgotten during the rest of the year. Nowadays, it is rare to get a large family all in one place, so the holidays really should be about connecting with people we infrequently see.

The gift lists, the shopping, the headaches – those are all problems with the modern definition of the holiday season. Family, giving, and cheer – those are all missing, or at least, nowhere close to the top of the list. These are the real meanings of the holidays; not the sales, not the gifts. It is a time to enjoy the company of others and give back to the community.

Emily McNair is a down-to-Earth artist who is rarely seen without some form of video game regalia. She is from the small town of Monument, Colorado and loves to spend her precious spare time outdoors. She has been with The Oredigger for three years and is currently Managing Editor. She is working on a degree in chemical engineering and will graduate in May.

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