'Tis The Season!

The holidays appear to kick off earlier and sooner every year. Now with the regular appearance of pre-Halloween Christmas merchandise, you can buy both Halloween candy and chocolate Santas in early October. How convenient!

…or how Nuts!

The “Over-Commercialization of the Holidays” is the one point about which I’m “pushing back” this holiday season.

I realize that different people have different views about what Christmas and end of year holidays means to them personally: whether it’s Christian or not, if there is a ‘war’ on it or not, etc. People also have strong feelings about holiday merchandise, personal possessions, and sentimental or collectible items, yet I feel that most people could agree that Christmas has been very commercialized, over-marketed and over-hyped. Economists even seem to imply that because the typical consumer doesn’t buy enough stuff, the consumer caused a recession and delayed recovery. Really? That’s a lot for consumers to bear and distracting from what is more relevant and meaningful during the holidays.

When I think of what I’ve enjoyed in the past holidays, it’s always about the people, places and the happenings when the holidays bring family members and friends together. The holidays are less about the things that have been purchased, boxed, given and received and more about the time spent with family, friends, and neighbors. Admittedly I have a hard time remembering what exact gifts I have been given or have bought for the holidays, but I can easier recall who I was with and where during holidays past.

I suggest that whomever you spend the holidays with, you take from the experience more in memories than you do in gift haul. Or I hope you give more of a positive experience to others than you take on in debt from holiday purchases. Quite often, like a legacy, the memories resulting from the holiday events you have painstakingly made the effort to create or attend will last longer than the actual gifts given or received.

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