Christmas: less about family, more about money

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Christmastime has arrived and with it has come the expected spending frenzy.

It seems that more and more money is being spent each year on gifts during the Christmas season.

Shopping, presents, and spending money have become key factors to the Christmas season.

In a time people should be enjoying their families and loved ones, people are trampling and fighting each other, and in worst-case scenarios, killing one another, to get the best deals on gifts.

In previous years, the spending madness started at midnight the day after thanksgiving, on a day better known as Black Friday.

However, this year, stores and companies opened as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night, taking people away from their families on a holiday we should be celebrating thankfulness, all forthe sake of a “good deal.”

People’s shopping addictions don’t stop there either. Even after the “discounts” of Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, people continue to spend money they don’t have, on all sorts of gifts, ranging from socks to iPads, most of which aren’t needed.

For as long as I can remember, my holiday season’s were filled with numerous gifts from my parents,  more than I could imagine as a child.

My family Christmas wouldn’t feel like Christmas without piles and piles of presents spilling from our decorated tree.

So what causes people to shrink their bank accounts each year on Christmas gifts?

Is it the need to spend money on things we couldn’t rationalize spending any other time of the year, or maybe is it the feeling of pride we feel when we purchase the most expensive gifts for our loved ones?

My boyfriend says that he spent hundreds of dollars on family members last year, because he wanted to give back to his family and last year was the first year he had the money to do it.
“It feels good to be able to give back to family, that’s given to me all my life,” he said.

To him, spending lots of money didn’t compare to the happiness he saw on his families faces when they opened their gifts.

For him, it was never about how much money was coming out of his pockets, but instead the bigger picture, the joy and gratitude his family felt in the gifts they received from him.

So is going in debt and stress of Christmas shopping and spending worth seeing faces light up and hearts warmed?

I would still say no.

I believe there are ways to give without breaking your piggy bank.

Perhaps instead of getting everyone in your family a gift, you could pick names, or set aside a specific amount of money throughout the year to prepare for gifts for Christmas and spend and stay within the budget you’ve allowed.

However and whatever you decide to give to your loved ones this year, don’t lose sight of why you’re giving in the first place.