Materialism Takes Away from the True Meaning of Christmas


Emrie Good, Editor

During the holiday season our minds are often filled with the things that represent the holidays. However, we occasionally lose sight of what is most important.

For instance, at Thanksgiving we can only think about how much food we’re going to eat, and how early stores will open for Black Friday. Instead, we should be thinking about how grateful we are for the food at our table and the people that we’re surrounded by.

Similarly, at Christmas, children have grown up relating Christmas with getting a ton of presents,  stuffed stockings, and elaborate trees. They don’t register that this is actually the time to spend with your family and friends and just enjoy each other’s company.

All of those things have their own values, but we’re so caught up with seeing the material things that we forget about what the holidays are meant for.

People have shifted their intentions away from being grateful for the time they have with their family and friends, to the material things they can get out of it.

It’s a time for loving the people around you, giving back to your community, and celebrating this special time.

Every student at La Salle has helped give multiple families a better holiday, through our Christmas drive for Lot Whitcomb, our canned food drive, and backpack buddies.

However, it’s one thing to be required to help out at school, but it’s another thing to help out just because you’re grateful for what you already have and see that someone else could use it more. It’s great that La Salle requires that students do these activities, but how many of us go outside of school and do this on our own? Giving back shouldn’t be seen as something that is required, it should be seen as a selfless act to help others.

It’s okay to receive presents and indulge sometimes in yourself and others. But that’s not what should only be on your mind.

For me, as I’m growing up, I find myself not wanting a lot for Christmas. When I was younger my stockings would be filled with random little things and there would be lots of presents for me under the tree.

The past few years my stockings have gotten smaller and the number of presents under the tree had gotten smaller.  At first I was disappointed, and who wouldn’t be? But then I realized that all the little things that filled my stocking, were things that I never used. This realization not just opened my eyes to seeing what I didn’t need, but also to the things that I found were more important.

Two years ago, my older sister Kendal went away to college at the United States Naval Preparatory School in Rhode Island and I only saw her at Christmas for the entire school year. I missed her all the time and so of course I was ecstatic when she came home.

Most Christmas mornings I would be the first one up, so excited to open my presents but at the same time, wanting to go slowly so it wouldn’t end. But last year I was most excited to see my sister’s face when she opened up the present I made her. I realize this present was a material thing, but I was looking forward to see her reaction, not what she had gotten me in return.

This year, she can only come home for Christmas.  I have come to learn that it’s not about the material things, but it’s instead about the time and the memories you have and make.

Material things you can have forever, but you won’t have the people or the time forever. I may always have that one present that my sister gave me, but I won’t always have her. We should focus more on the people and the memories rather than the material things that take away from this special time.

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