A meaning lost

Ani Mosinyan

(December 14, 2012) — The holly, jolly warm feeling of the holidays seems to be long gone. Nowadays, presents and gifts are mainly what excite people about the coming of Christmas. Why else is the holiday season the craziest time of year for the malls and stores? There must have been a simpler time when no one expected a shiny new toy, a warm sweater, or some fancy vase for their home. A time when all families would gather around the table to share laughs and food with the ones they love. Christmas can have various meanings; however, it certainly does. There must have been a simpler time when no one expected a shiny new toy, a warm sweater, or not mean going on a buy-one-get-one-free shopping craze to make everyone happy. With these tough economic times, you’d think people would try to save a little! Black Friday is always the best time to go Christmas shopping, as everyone knows. According to the National Retail Federation, the 2011 total consumer spending on Black Friday was $52.4 billion. Now, I don’t know how you feel about that, but it’s a bit too much, no? And yet, it seems slightly ironic to me that people will run to the stores at midnight, scavenging through the aisles for the best deals and possibly the most useless things, when about, oh, a day before, they were giving thanks for all they had been blessed with. Well, isn’t that lovely. If this mindless need to buy everyone a gift to show affection towards one another continues, the holidays might as well not exist anymore. As sweet and exciting as it may be to finally get that new iPhone you’ve been dreaming of, if that is all you are excited for, then why should we call it Christmas? Christmas is a time when families take a break from their hectic lives and come home to the warm smell of pies, cookies, chestnuts and eggnog. They sit together and sip hot chocolate while they share memories, play games, or even watch television together. They decorate the Christmas tree, and light up their homes with colorful lights and ornaments. It is a time of togetherness and joy, of being thankful for one’s blessings, and welcoming the new year with happiness and great expectations.