The holiday season most would say is the greatest time of the year. Students are off from school, people are out and about making the most of their favorite stores' holiday sales and it seems as if everyone, in general, is in an uplifting and enthusiastic mood for the approaching time off and celebration.
Everything about the holiday season is enjoyable, but to make the most of it really includes staying true to its original meaning. It's evident that in contemporary society Christmas and other holiday celebrations have been largely influenced by Western consumer culture. The holiday season has certainly turned into a business, in which there is a greater emphasis on what one buys for the other and what one receives.
While the practice of gift giving is definitely not problematic, it shouldn't be seen as the quintessence of the holiday season. Just think about Black Friday. It occurs on the day right after Thanksgiving, a celebration that is meant to bring families together and be a time where people can enjoy themselves and their loved ones. People working in retail stores don't get to share in the full experience of the holiday since they have to go to their shift and prepare for the chaotic commotion that is Black Friday.
The videos that show people absolutely destroying everyone and everything in their path for a new flat screen TV are, albeit funny, the most accurate representation of a Christmas that has lost its meaning. Despite what one may celebrate, it is important to consider that the essence of the holiday season transcends any video game, lip kit or car one may get.
When you come to think of it, it is essentially the process of getting ready for the holidays and the celebration itself that constitute the spirit of the season. Helping a family member or friend with setting up the Christmas tree, for example, is living in the spirit of the holiday because it is the time, effort and the memory that is being shared at the moment that matters most. Spending time with family and friends by partaking in holiday festivities and enjoying each other's presence is what the holidays are all about.
It shouldn't be about just anticipating Christmas day and wondering what kind of gifts you'll get. It should be about getting to spend every single moment with people you care about and being grateful for it. Ultimately, that has been and is what Christmas is known to be universally.
It is a time of love, care, joy, and gratitude and although this can be shown by gift giving, it's not the gift itself that has value, it is the thought, meaning, and sentiment behind the gift that is valuable.
While all of this has been repeated and is something that we've heard before and know to be true, sometimes we lose sight of it and just see the holiday season as a way to do what we want and get what we want.
To truly make the most of the holiday season, put down your phone, temporarily avoid some of your responsibilities and don't focus on which gifts from your Christmas list you'll get. Instead, live presently, spend time with those you love and enjoy every moment of it.