Enjoy family, not items

The holidays are approaching, and though we haven’t just had Thanksgiving or anything, that’s not really what is deemed the “holiday season.” Black Friday solidifies the start of this season, obviously, with the gross misconduct of bargain shoppers who half-kill each other to get to a sale. They have to get to them, otherwise they could never afford what everyone seems to think we should buy for our loved ones. Although with the way the commercials advertise it, America’s economy is doing just fine.

You turn on the television and you see the average nuclear family carving the turkey with big smiles and piles of presents under the heavily decorated tree. Sometimes it’s like we’re living in the ‘50s again with fake smiles plastered onto housewives when these commercials come on the television. It’s almost like they’re trying to distract us from something; only instead of racial and gender injustice it is now hiding how we cannot afford the Hallmark-card Christmas.

Of course, this Hallmark-card Christmas is never the reality, and we know that, but more and more it seems like it is being endorsed. Manufacturers tell us we should be able to afford their unnecessary luxuries like 72-inch televisions that check your Facebook feeds and those Honda cars that advertise in jest of buying one for a loved one for the holidays while still trying to sell them for that very reason. We have masses of middle-class citizens protesting against their high, education-related debts, unemployment and health costs. They still think we can pay for these things?

When it gets to the point where a woman will pepper-spray her opponents to get to that Xbox 360 first, you know something’s wrong. Our parents, and maybe even some of us, elbowed each other out of the way for Cabbage Patch Kids, but now we’re dying. At least one fatality seems to crop up from Black Friday hysteria each year, and most of us are just fine with that. This year Buy Nothing Day might have gotten a few more people, and Cyber Monday may have made some think twice about venturing out in the middle of the night, but people are still willing to stand in the cold to satisfy our society’s demand for Christmas excellence.

How many of you out there will go home in a few weeks to the Hallmark-channel Christmas, and how many of you are happy with the real one? How many of you don’t even celebrate the holiday, and are forced to watch as it permeates every aspect of these weeks, as your fellow man will fight almost to the death for goods?

Family has always been, and will always be, the focus of these late-year holidays. When we fight for products we are fighting for them and for their happiness. You might never forget the looks on their faces when they open that perfect gift. What they will always remember about you, though, is a different story. Will they remember how frantic you get around Christmas, how hard you tried to make everything perfect, or will they remember the joy you brought? It seems that while you probably don’t remember the presents from when you were seven, you remember your family. You remember the good and the bad, like when aunts and uncles start quiet fights or when they put aside their disagreements just for a couple of days. You remember music, food, decorations, anecdotes; and that’s just what you should. No Hallmark-card Christmas, just the Christmas that you should have.

For this holiday season, no matter what you celebrate or even if you don’t celebrate anything at all, take those days and spend them with your family, while you have them.