Another Christmas has come and gone. The gifts have been opened and flaunted on Facebook and Instagram. The food has been inhaled. And Santa is snoozing away in the North Pole after a busy Christmas holiday. But this year something was different for me.
I just couldn’t join in the spirit of consumerism that filled the stores. (And it’s not just because my ass is broke.) Instead, as I wandered from store to store attempting to complete my shopping list, I was filled with a deep sense of sorrow. When did Christmas become about iPads and flat-screen TVs? When did we start shelling out massive amounts of cash to make the season special?
To me, Christmas isn’t about the loot I’m scoring on Christmas morning. Instead, it’s about the time I spend with family and friends, whether it’s wandering around gazing at lights or talking the night away. It’s these moments that I will remember for years to come, not the flashy gifts under the tree.
Quite frankly, I think more people would do better with less material gifts during the holidays. Why not substitute them with other more meaningful gifts like your time or a donation to their favorite charity? If you’re giving to a child, taking them to the museum, the zoo, or a movie is a much better option than that super sweet toy that they may not remember in 10 years. I guarantee they’ll remember the quality time you spend with them. If you’re giving to your partner, taking them out for a romantic date or writing them a love letter will definitely pull on their heartstrings making their holiday extra special. Those golden Christmas gifts don’t have to cost an arm and a leg (or countless hours and battles on Black Friday). They can simply be paid in kindness, love, and time.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – ‘Lynsey, it’s the spirit of giving!’ I totally understand the spirit and joy of giving, but there are so many other gifts that are far more meaningful than that smartphone that will basically replace your best friend. And if you truly feel like spending money this Christmas in the spirit of giving, then why not spend it on people who truly need it. Donate to charity. Buy a homeless man some dinner. Foster a dog for the holidays. Or sponsor a child for Christmas. They need it more than all of us who are nice and cozy in our homes surrounded by flat-screen TVs and iPads.
I suppose what I’m asking is – do we really need all those flashy presents beneath the Christmas tree?
I know I have more things in my home than I could ever need. So next Christmas, I would prefer all of you wonderful peeps who feel the need to shower me with gifts to donate to a charity of your choosing. That would make my Christmas very special.
What do you think? Do we get too caught up in the consumerism of Christmas?