Have we forgotten the meaning of Christmas?

The last three months of the year are arguably the craziest of times. 

Many get ready to jump from holiday to holiday, ingest ridiculous amounts of food and spend unspeakable amounts of money all in the name of festivity. 

All of this gluttony and spending brings about the question, have we lost the true meaning of the season?

I can’t be the only one who absolutely hates going to the mall in December. It’s a full on mad-house at all hours of the day and the chance of parking anywhere within 10 miles of the vicinity is slim to none. 

The stores are filled with brutally eager shoppers cramming in last minute stocking stuffers and Christmas presents to make their holidays the best one yet.

Individuals hoping to strike a deal participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday in hopes of buying gifts for less. 

However, as the years go by, Black Friday begins earlier and earlier and becomes Black Thursday, and Cyber Monday continues on for longer and longer practically becoming Cyber December.

Browsing the Internet one can find videos of children crying on Christmas morning because they didn’t receive the expensive gifts they wanted. 

I recently stumbled a video of a kid who was devastated that he opened his beautifully wrapped box to find a pair of pajamas.

Getting all swept up in the materialistic aspect of the holidays leads us astray from the importance that these times really bring: togetherness. 

The holidays are about coming together with loved ones who share the same beliefs as you, whether it’s in a religious sense or just in one of family and love.

My roommate was talking about how she’s seen her church change over the years, stating that in the recent Christmas Eve services she’s attended there’s been a tree stocked with presents underneath that are then distributed to the children who attend. 

Instead of understanding the religious reasoning behind the holiday, it seems people are in some way bribed to attend.

For college students, the end of the year is a big and exciting time. 

We’ve just finished finals, and for some students, this will be their first time returning home since the beginning of the semester. We’re given these long weeks off to celebrate the holidays at home with our families, as the holidays should be spent.

The problem doesn’t completely lie in the realm of the holidays, however. We are a consuming society in a consumer world. A new iPhone comes out every year simply because companies like Apple know that we, as a society, will buy into it. 

We constantly insist on having the biggest, latest and most advanced things at all times.

 Taking all of this into consideration, there is nothing wrong with looking forward to receiving presents, and wanting to give them in return. 

Realistically, this whole idea has become part of our culture, engrained in our brains since our Santa Claus and Elf on the Shelf days. 

The trouble comes when the holiday becomes less about love and family, and more about the latest iPad. These holidays only occur once a year, meaning if we’re lucky, we’ll get about 90 of them in our lifetime. 

With that in perspective, we have 32,850 days of those years to spend extraneous amounts of money on material items we want at any time. 

So this year, remember more of what the day means and less of what the day is, and be grateful for every second of it.