Saturday, December 8, 2012

Season of Gifts

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One of my favorite songs is the Christmas Can-Can, written and sung by the great a capella group Straight No Chaser. It really explores what this season has become, and in the end, includes other celebrations, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. They have an official YouTube video here. Definitely check them out, they are one of my inspirations!
Christmas has been more and more commercialized. In exchange for personality, gifts have become about price, quantity before quality. Nobody appreciates what they already have, instead they compile long lists of things they want. Everyone worries about finding the perfect gift that is both within their budget and appropriate for the occasion. The average amount spent on gifts is $515.94, and only 41.6% of shoppers look for bargains. That means that 58.4% of shoppers don't actively pay attention to the various bargains that this season offers. I personally feel a lot like Dr. Sheldon Cooper, where the pressure to give something that equals the other monetarily is great. Even the peer pressure of having others judge what you give to a third party is great.
In all this pressure and commercialization, we often underestimate how much we owe to others. How many have thought of others, the ones who don't have any money to spend for gifts? There is a lot of pressure to get them, even for those who have no extra money. For example, my brother went to the "Free Store" (where he lives, there is a place that accepts donations of money, time, or other commodities in exchange for what other people donate. Like a perpetual White Elephant store) in order to get gifts for my younger siblings this year, because he couldn't imagine not getting them something. In my area, there is a "Tiny Tim" jar. In other college, there is a tree with "ornaments" of Christmas lists for children for people to sign up and help others.

Police, firemen, and soldiers-- everyone says that they honor these professions, but how many actually take the time to thank an officer?  But there is no fund for, say, flowers for the local police and fire department. Or packages for a troop overseas, or even a package for those here in the States. There are a lot of officers on duty during the holiday season, and a fruit basket or Swiss Colony package would be welcomed.
So for this holiday season, let us think of others, and maybe spend some of our gift money on them, rather than on yet another bag of candy or extra dessert for Christmas.