BY: SRAVANTI BASSA
Christmas time is a time filled with joy and happiness for many, but not for me.
For years, people have been trying to show me the greatness of Christmas, but I see things from a different perspective.
My main problem with Christmas is how people continue to change the original meaning of the holiday. Christmas was meant to be a day to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Although I’m not Christian, I take offense to the fact that Christmas has turned into a consumerism day rather than a religious observation. Of course, there are millions who still observe the day for its original meaning. But here in America, many non-Christians observe the day through gift giving.
Walk into any store the day after Halloween and you’ll see that it’s already filled with wreaths and ornaments. Businesses use every technique to get your dollar. In the process, Thanksgiving is often not promoted and overlooked. I feel Thanksgiving is important because it values families coming together and showing appreciation.
It is also a holiday, without nationality or religion, that everybody can celebrate together. Instead, Christmas garners so much attention towards the actual day for its consumerism.
Kids and adults alike make wish lists in hopes of receiving the next new device or piece of clothing. To me, this generates negativity.
Many kids are excited for Christmas today because they could get what they asked for. When that happens, they can show their friends all their new toys. Afterwards, kids usually compare what they received as presents and gloat. However, especially in this tough economic time, not every kid can get what they asked for.
What do the poorer children say when their classmates ask them what they got for Christmas?
Kids who didn’t end up getting what they wanted due to financial difficulties are then made to feel inferior and abnormal to those who easily received everything on their wish list.
When I was younger, my parents didn’t celebrate Christmas and never wrapped presents. I felt like I needed to fit in so I would make my parents go to the store and buy everything I wanted. I had to have the next biggest electronic device or any toy I knew my friends were getting just to say I celebrated Christmas too. Looking back, I might have enjoyed the presents but it wasn’t worth forcing my parents buying material things to satisfy my insecurities.
In addition, as an environmental science and policy major, I don’t appreciate the amount of waste generated throughout the season with wrapping paper, uneaten gingerbread houses, and dead trees.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy receiving gifts but not if I’m doing it because I’m fitting in and doing what everybody else does. Christmas gets so hyped up that it is impossible to avoid anything Christmas-related. Christmas music constantly plays in the background, eggnog is for some reason infused in my diet, and movies show Santa Claus as a god to little children. It is something that is forced upon me whether I like it or not.
Everybody also already knows the amount of traffic it can generate for a month, especially close to Christmas day when last minute shoppers try mustering up a good present. Stress, of course, is higher around this time when people must figure out how they can afford to buy presents, get the right presents, and how everybody can get together in time for the “special day.”
Of course there are many good things about Christmas such as bringing communities together, volunteering opportunities, and getting family together, which I appreciate. But the new generations are slowly losing these values and care only for presents.