What Matters Most: A Reflection on Christmas Shopping

As Helen Keller once stated, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Hellen Keller defines beauty as something emotional and not tangible. In other words, materialistic things are not worth nearly as much as feelings of love, joy, and thankfulness. Also, Keller acknowledges that the true key to happiness cannot be found in possessions.Despite the fact that no one can attain happiness by chasing after material things, we still convince ourselves that money, clothes, and shoes will make us happy, especially during the holidays.

The onslaught of marketing helps to further corrupt the true meaning of the holidays. It misdirects our priorities, romanticizes material things, and leaves people feeling discontent. By way of advertisement, the main focus of the holidays for many years has mainly been about buying more and more clothes, shoes, or electronics for oneself particularly on Black Friday. We have begun to start Christmas shopping the night of Thanksgiving when we should be spending time with those  we care for the most in the spirit of thankfulness.

Holiday advertising is all about buying gifts for oneself or others and rarely ever publicizes the real reason for the season. The joy of the holidays should not be based on how many items we purchase for sale on Black Friday; it should be based on the memories we create with family.

I admit, the huge sales on Black Friday seem like great opportunities to buy gifts for others. However, the constant shopping often turns into selfishness and greed. When the media advertises popular items to buy, people desire to receive that item from either a family member or friend. One tends to be disappointed and discontent at receiving a gift of lesser value than expected.

Christmas is a celebration of what Christ has done for everyone. This should not take a back seat to the modern tradition of high intensity shopping. Christ’s love should shine through us during this special time. In addition, remembrance and reflection are two extremely important aspects of the holidays. We should reflect on what God has blessed us with and especially be thankful for God sending his son to be born in this imperfect world to eventually cleanse all people of their sins.

DeAnna Lockett, Class of 2017

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