With the holidays just a skip, hop, and jump away, many of us are starting to add items to our holiday shopping list that we could actually live without. Over the years, the holidays have become an idea of gifts and consumerism, as opposed to holiday cheer, family, laughter, and joy. In fact, the 8 days of Hanukah were never intended to be accompanied by 8 gifts, but consumerism influences have altered this as many celebrating the holiday expect a present on each of the 8 nights of Hanukah. If we were to forego these ideals during the holidays, our country as a whole would be better off as we would have less debt, less pressure to upgrade to the latest material possession, and our environment would experience a break. There are a variety of ways you can give this holiday season without becoming compelled by consumerism, including:
- Giving the gift of time is the best present one can receive. Everyone is finally together during the holidays, why not make the most of it? Taking a family hike or participating in another fun-filled activity surrounded by the ones you love most.
- Rather than buying your father another tie he is only going to wear to work and your mother a spa treatment, why not give the gift of creativity? Make something that speaks to your family rather than purchasing just another item on their list. Writing a letter to your grandparents with an accompanying photo of your favorite memory with them is the best gift of all.
- If you decide to give in and still get gifts for the holidays, try to support small businesses and companies that give back during the holidays. For example, a company that donates a portion of their proceeds during the month of December to a local charity or family in need makes up for the consumerism.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season! For more advice on avoiding the consumerism aspect of the most joyous time of year, contact Community Presbyterian Counseling Center in San Ramon, California.