It is that wonderful time of year again. The leaves have fallen off the trees, peppermint mochas are being sipped and everyone is buying into America’s favorite tradition, consumerism. I hate to sound like a Scrooge, but even Ebenezer discovered the power of holiday tradition through the Ghost of Christmas Present.
Over the last decade I have seen a decline in holiday traditions. Instead I have seen long lines, tired retail workers and parents pandering to their child’s every desire. It is ridiculous to think that there are second graders that have smart phones and tablets when our generation had flip phones and landlines to communicate. These have become our holiday traditions. We indulge in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, trying to find the best deal on some piece of junk that will go out of style in a year.
This materialism causes entitlement among children and forces them to become self-absorbed. I am not saying your holiday should be like one of those awful Hallmark Channel movies, but I feel that the holidays are a time where we should focus on the people in our lives rather than some material item. In college we spend so much time preparing to make a living that we forget our values along the way. The holidays are a way of reviterating those values regardless of your religion and I hope those values aren’t based on the latest edition of the iPhone. In reality, the greatest feeling is not the gift that you have received but rather the one you have given. You may be excited about your new laptop, phone, purse, or gadget. But the real excitement comes from the idea of that person being generous to you. Your fascination with that item will wear off in time, but generosity is something that remains.