holidays minus shopping

It’s crucial that we dissociate the holiday spirit from gift-giving. We have conditioned ourselves so much with buying gifts, that we can’t even imagine having a Christmas tree in our homes with no gifts around it. 

Once upon a time, we used to have a holiday season. But now, it has morphed into a holiday “shopping” season. 

Everywhere you look, you’ll see people running around buying things, consciously or unconsciously. Malls are packed with shoppers. Stores are luring customers to celebrate the “festive” spirit. Non-stop commercials are encouraging us to break out of our shells and make our holidays better and more enjoyable by buying their products and services.

Retailers invade newspapers, TV, magazines, radio, billboards, you name it. It’s hard to escape advertisements and special offers, whether you’re out on the street, or online. 

Stores and companies throw all kinds of temptations our way. Doorbuster sales. One day only! Unmissable offers. Now or Never. Early bird specials! Get the best deal! Last chance. Act now! Shop at half price. While supplies last. 

I think it’s time we kick the shopping out, and just focus on the holiday season. It’s a warm and joyous time of the year, the time where we can take days off from work, focus on having quality time with our loved ones and give thanks to the blessings that we’ve been bestowed upon with. It’s the season to enjoy delicious meals, play in the snow, connect with nature, and volunteer for a good cause in your neighborhood. Don’t tarnish it with compulsive purchases and mindless shopping. Instead, immerse yourself in the holiday spirit and spend time doing things that you love to do. 

As Ryan Nicodemus says, “The problem is we’ve been conditioned to associate this joyous time of year—the mittens, the decorations, the family activities—with purchasing material items. We’ve trained ourselves to believe buying stuff is an inextricable part of Christmas. We all know, however, the holidays needn’t require gifts to be meaningful; rather, this time of year is meaningful because of its true meaning—not the wrapped boxes we place under the tree. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong or bad about gift-giving during this time of year. However, when purchasing gifts becomes the focal point of the season, we lose focus on what’s truly important.”

Let’s focus on simplicity and contribution, and making good use of our time this holiday season; not shopping, setting and fulfilling hollow expectations, and running after shiny objects.