Saving Christmas: Has Christmas become too commercialized?
Every year stores seem to display their holiday merchandise earlier and earlier—and put out more stuff to entice unsuspecting shoppers. Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays and how they make me feel.
Keep the Santas and reindeer, Frosty and his snowman pals, the busy elves and Nativity scenes. If you decorate your house and backyard to get in the holiday spirit, there’s nothing wrong with that.
But, buying a gift for someone just because an item is on sale or is the newest product in town feels wrong. If a gift is something personal or useful to a person, by all means, get it. If you are feeling obligated to buy someone something, my advice…don’t. A gift, in my opinion, is a way to say “Thank you!” for helping you out through a tough time, being a great friend or being nice. A gift is something to tell someone that you appreciate what they have done.
When we start caring too much about how much we have and what other people think of us around the holidays, the idea of giving and selflessness begin to disappear. Buying into the commercialized Christmas can ruin Christmas.
How do we save Christmas?
Keep the holiday spirit alive by spending time with family and friends. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on shared experiences. Let the people around you know that you appreciate them.
Read Christmas stories around the holidays, especially those promoting generosity and kindness to the less fortunate. Read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express.
Fill the house with your favorite Christmas tunes. Many radio stations play holiday favorites around Christmas time. However, some stations even start playing Christmas songs in November— which for myself is much too early. So, if you would don't want to hate Christmas, I suggest listening to these tunes in moderation.
Keep gifts simple. You should feel less stressed by selecting a simple, personal gift that means something. Good things can come in small packages. And, no, you do not need to buy a diamond necklace every year to show a woman you care. The person receiving the gift will also feel less guilty about not giving you a gift in return, especially when the gift is not extremely lavish. A donation to a charity in a person's name makes a great gift that is both simple and generous.
Watch the Christmas classics to help get you in the Christmas spirit. These include The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
What would it be like to skip Christmas?
First of all, I don’t think it is necessary to skip Christmas. After all, it is a special time of year for so many people. However, if you are curious what skipping Christmas would be like, check out John Grisham’s book, Skipping Christmas, which tells the story of the Kranks who do just that. It is a highly entertaining read that examines the repercussions of choosing to spend money on a cruise to paradise rather than Christmas. This book has a lot to think about, especially how competitive Christmas can get.
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