Memories or Money?


Nowadays, the holidays seem to consist of one major theme: gifts. Despite the overarching message of family during the Christmas season, presents have always been a staple.

Christmas has come to be defined as the monetary value of tangible items, as opposed to the feelings and memories that come with the festivities. People have seemed to forget the true spirit of Christmas.

I believe that with the constant progression of technology, gifts are much more relevant than they were fifty years ago. It seems that all ages have adapted to modern-day technologies which include shopping at our fingertips while constantly having our faces buried in screens.

People don't know how to be present anymore, therefore leading to a lack of engagement, especially during the holiday season. The technology we now have has become so accessible that we will get on our phones anytime we are bored. The lack of interaction and act of being social causes us to become more distant, even within our own families.

With the background of our technology, it has become inevitable that we see Christmas as a time for exchange. Without the social element that comes with Christmas, how are we to make any memories? This leaves the holidays to be all about the value of inanimate objects when instead we should be focused on each other.

The holidays for me have always been one of the best times of the year. As a kid, it was only natural for me to be more concerned about gifts than actually seeing my family. However, my parents took on a different philosophy when it came to the holidays. They raised me to value and cherish the gifts I was given. My parents taught me how to be grateful and show thanks to whomever gifted me.
My parents had an impact on how I view Christmas, and how important it is to understand the somewhat fogged themes of thankfulness and family.

An article written by compelling addresses the question: Does giving gifts take away from the true meaning of Christmas? "Today in our materialistic-saturated culture Christmas is often made more about 'what I get' rather than about 'what God gave us'," the article stated.

The focus of Christmas falls heavily on the gift-giving aspect, resulting in a distorted understanding as to what the holiday is truly about. I believe that although presents can be a positive attribute of Christmas, they often lead to a negative effect.

When it comes to the younger generation I think it's even more important to emphasize that gifts are temporary. I personally believe that there should be a message implying that Christmas is a time of year when memories are made.

Although everyone loves gifts, I think it is important to reflect on the non-artificial nature of Christmas. Everyone experiences the holidays differently, whether the sole message be religious, good natured or family oriented. No matter how you see the holidays, we should all be reminded that Christmastime is not just about what we are given, but what we are privileged to experience. The fact that we are able to visit with family and friends of all ages is a good fortune that is oftentimes heavily overlooked.

Most likely, you did not remember the Christmas gift you got when you were six, but rather the experiences, memories and traditions you have made over the years. What sticks with us is the love expressed throughout the holidays.

Opinion by Ruby Woodson