Spirit of Christmas Lost to Commercialism

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by Claire Kyllonen, Staff Writer

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Or so the countless corporations and stores proclaim, using the season as an excuse to line their pockets.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, malls are mobbed. Shelves are emptied by frantic parents. Lines are formed around corners that seem never-ending.

This is a sad example of what the true spirit of Christmas has turned into: a breakneck race by anyone and everyone to create the “ideal” Christmas, formed in the minds of Americans by unrealistic movies and TV shows which portray romantic, unrealistic ideas that involve a roaring fireplace or a brightly decorated tree.

And the commercialization only gets worse every year, forcing more people to pay attention to the details that don’t matter. People have lost the sense of what the holidays are really about by being stuck obsessing over these details. It’s time for people to wake up.

It’s not about the decorations. It’s not about the presents under your tree. It’s not about cooking a perfectly-seasoned turkey. It’s not about “ugly” Christmas sweaters or holiday parties. And it’s not about ABC’s “25 Days of Christmas.”

Christmas is a time of giving, sharing, and putting old arguments aside. It’s about showing love to loved ones and warmth to strangers. It’s a time of reaching out to help the less fortunate. It’s about making memories, making a difference.

It doesn’t matter what religion you are or if you have any religious beliefs at all. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, or any other observance, it doesn’t matter. The holidays affect us all.

Whether you hand-make a gift for someone, or give your change to a homeless person, it’s the little acts of kindness that we do, without expecting something in return, that make the holidays so humbling.

Use this holiday season to remember what you’re grateful for. Remember to give a little. Even just a smile has the power to create a miracle.