Are presents taking away true meaning of holiday season?


Studies show that most people spend $100 to $300 on Christmas gifts a year.

As the holidays roll around, it becomes time to start buying gifts for people, decorating houses with lights and holiday spirit. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, right? In today’s society, waking up to presents under the Christmas tree is just normal. Has Christmas gotten too far away from its original meaning? With new expectations, the holiday season can be very stressful and chaotic. 

Many people enjoy the company of their family during the holidays. When people think of Christmas, is the first thing that comes to mind spending time with family and loved ones, or is it gift giving and receiving? Many feel the holiday season should be about family traditions and showing love for one another. 

Stress is very common, however, this time is supposed to be relaxing. Winter break is a time for students to get away from school and spend time with the ones that care about them, listening to some Christmas music while making cookies or drinking hot chocolate while watching a Christmas movie. 

“I think if more focused on the true meaning of the season and the important memories that will last forever, well beyond a perfect gift or gifts, the stress level of many would be reduced,” teacher Ms. Maria Porter said.

Many people start shopping for Christmas presents months in advance just to find the ‘perfect’ gift. Some people spend an immense amount of money and time while getting gifts for their kids, friends and even significant others. Gifts can lose their value when they are expected, rather than appreciated. Many famous YouTube families post videos about what they got for Christmas, and sometimes this can be more negative than positive. This is not the reality for most families though. Today’s society is heavily influenced by social networking and often, it sets unrealistic expectations for the holiday season. Not everyone can afford a brand new gaming console or new electronics. 

“I think the most stressful thing about the holidays is getting someone a gift they will like,” freshman Annabelle Komlos said.

This expectation can lead to jealousy and hurt feelings. This is not what the holidays are all about. People should be thankful and spread joy and love. A gift by definition is “a transfer of something without the expectation of payment.” How come sometimes people feel the need to get someone else a gift because they got one? The simple answer is because gifts during the holidays are not always appreciated. It is a habit to get close friends a gift, but this gift does not have to be extravagant because it is a gift. The thought behind it is what counts, not the value. 

When it is time to start shopping for Christmas gifts, buyers try to keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas. Giving a gift is not about how much it costs, but simply the fact that someone was thought about and appreciated. Many would rather enjoy the holiday season, play in the snow and cherish the time spent with loved ones rather than stressing about buying presents.