Materialism: is it ruining Christmas?

By Ashley Randazzo
December 8, 2005

“Beep Beep!” I hear as I drive down the mall ramp to embark on quite an adventure. “Surely they aren’t honking at me,” I think, as I drive further and further into the crowded blacktop full of cars. Not an empty space in sight. Luckily, I know where the valet parking is, and, for a measly $5, I can park and shop all day. Inside the mall, crowded stores surround me that would make any claustrophobic person have a panic attack right on the spot.

Around me

I hear side

conversations that I don’t really pay attention to. All of a sudden I hear, “Hey, get out of the way if you’re not going to walk faster!” This male voice was directed to me. A man with about four large bags was walking ever so briskly, and when he finally caught up to me, he felt the need to express his frustration upon me. I tried my best to smile and laugh at the gentleman, but I was not impressed with his anger or his holiday cheer.

What have the holidays become? Traditionally, it is supposed to be a time to spend with family and friends, maybe go to church and just enjoy the season. Instead, people are constantly in the grasp of other things, like the amount spent on presents, or what is the new and hot toy for that year. Most of all, large consumer corporations want the consumer to know that they have the best deals and largest selection and that is why people should shop there. Every television commercial that has something to do with the holidays is about an item that can be bought to improve the season’s experiences. Personally, I believe that nothing can be bought to improve the holiday season; it comes from those we love and who we spend time with during it.

I’m not saying presents aren’t fun to open, because believe me, I love presents. Today, the market for the holidays has become a commercialized conglomerate, where so many profits are taken in, and each company wants to top their highest amount every year. When I woke up on this past black Friday and read the news about the stampede of people fighting in Walmart, it was discouraging. Why do people have to act that way to each other, especially during this time of the year? It’s frightening to think how much pressure people put on themselves just because of a few presents and good deals they get from the stores they choose to buy from. During the holiday season, the best and worst is brought out in people. Ugliness is present when strangers are nasty to each other because of all the frustrations they have about the holiday season. However, the best part of the holidays is feeling the love and warmth of those that are closest to you.

There are so many reasons why we put great value on materialistic items. Maybe we want to impress a future mother-in-law or we want to help someone in need. Whatever the reason is, the season is what we personally make of it. There are choices to be made; either we decide to put a price tag on the holidays, or we choose to “make the season bright” in our own little way, by maybe not even using our wallet. We come to find out that our love doesn’t come in the packages we give to one another; it was always in our hearts.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Ashley Randazzo

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