Revive The Meaning In Holiday Gifts
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Revive The Meaning In Holiday Gifts

This holiday season, let's buy gifts that remind us of someone special.

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Revive The Meaning In Holiday Gifts
Neil Moodle

Earlier this week, I flipped my calendar to the new month and saw a lot of school days crossed out. Ah, we must be in “No School November”. The holidays are inching upon us, the Christmas decorations are beginning to fill the aisles, and the probability of waking up to a fresh blanket of snow is starting to become a bit more real with each passing day.

As I think about the season of giving and see the stores start to crowd with people trying to cross items off of their lists, I can’t help but ponder the true meaning of these upcoming months. Sure, it’s the time to give gifts and let people know that they’re appreciated, but what happens when you don’t know what to buy someone? What happens when you give five people a lotion set and a coffee mug just so that you can put a check next to their name? What happens when you start to buy gifts for people just because the pressure of the holiday season tells you that you have to?

When we fall into these traps, we start to fade the meaning of the holidays. Yes, holidays are about buying gifts for your loved ones and letting them know how much they’re cherished, but I think there’s a fine line splitting the gifts that you picked out with a certain person in mind from the few extra boxes of chocolate that you picked up so that you don’t leave anyone out.

Personally, I wish that our society was less wrapped up in gifts during the holidays to the point where we are expected to give them to every family member and friend. It stresses people out over trying to find the perfect gift, results in too many hot chocolate mugs and bath sets being purchased, diminishes the meaning behind gift giving, and reflects a society of people who are often too busy to truly know one another.

Rather than it being only during the holidays, I wish that gift giving was something we were encouraged to do all year long. If nothing shouts my name at you during Christmas shopping, then so be it. Don’t stress over it and don’t feel bad. If you see something that reminds you of me in the middle of May, that gift would mean much more to me than a lotion set that you frantically grabbed on Christmas Eve merely so that I wouldn’t be excluded from your gift giving. Better yet, don’t buy me anything. Instead, show me a place that’s meaningful to you. Share with me your favorite memories of being in that place. With this, you’d be giving me the most precious gift of all- a piece of your time that you won’t ever get back.

Deep down, we know that presents are intended to be something special for our recipients. However, amidst all of the chaos ensued within the hectic holiday season, this somehow slips our minds and we fill our carts with gifts that don’t mean anything to us or to the person we give them to. They allow us to fulfill an obligation, though, and it seems as if our holiday seasons have caused this to be what matters most- the drawing of a check mark next to someone’s name on your list.

Gift giving is meant to be an expression of appreciation and love. This holiday season, I encourage you to buy less lotion sets and more gifts that remind you of someone special. If you can’t find anything, then show them appreciation later on in the year when you walk by something that flushes you with memories of them. Or you can take them somewhere special- the city you grew up in, your favorite park as a child, a hiking trail that you love, or a place that is meaningful to you for one reason or another.

This holiday season, strive to put meaning behind the presents you give- fill your gifts with love and add an extra sprinkle of magic in the air this Christmas. I know that the holidays are a busy time for us all, but taking the time to find the perfect gift for someone will make them feel more appreciated than any generic gift ever could.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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