Is Christmas just about the gifts?


Wildcat Photo

A Christmas tree is displayed with gifts surrounding.

Erin Pickert, Feature Editor

When the holiday season rolls around, most people’s first thoughts are relating to Christmas wish-lists and what gifts they will buy for each other. 

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, society prepares for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ready to begin the season of gift buying and giving. Rarely do we find time to take a moment to appreciate those around us and tell them how we feel. Instead, we have been trained to show gratitude by spending money on them. Oftentimes, it is forgotten how meaningful our words are and the impact they can have. When did we let cheap plastic goods replace our words of affirmation?

While gift-giving is a key element of the Christmas season and allows us to express our love and appreciation for those around us, the materialistic values that is placed on Christmas is ultimately unhealthy.

People flock to the stores and malls to spend fortunes on carts full of gifts for all the people on their list. We spend money on items that will likely end up in the garbage within a few years or sit and collect dust in the corners of our bedrooms and basements. We expect the small boxes under the tree to adequately express our love for one another. Hopefully, all of the gratitude we hold for one another does not fit in a box. It is meant to be spoken or written; it is meant to be shown, not bought. 

The materialistic presentation of this gratitude, unfortunately, does not suffice.

However, there is a solution. Next time you’re thinking of buying a cheesy t-shirt or gag gift, pause before emptying your wallet. 

How could you best express your love for someone? Could that be in the form of quality time or something handmade? What might be of more value to them than the funny t-shirt that they might wear twice? 

Though I may sound hypocritical, I am guilty of restless shopping that ensues with the holiday season. I find it hard to not find a simple gift, wrap it up nicely and call it good. Yet, I plan to change my gift-giving habits this Christmas season. While I still plan to give gifts to accompany my gratitude for those around me, I plan to be more thoughtful about what and how much I am buying. 

Christmas is the prime time for all people, young and old, to show each other how much we love and care for one another. This season allows us to be thankful for the many things which bring us joy. It is a time to connect with those around us, put our differences aside, and give ourselves to others.

While of course Santa and gifts are an important staple in the Christmas season, these are to remind us of what the season is truly about: expressing our love and appreciation for each other. We just have to be brave enough to do it, not hide behind the boxes of gifts we wish to adequately express what we are afraid to say.