‘Tis the Season for Gifts

Celebrate the true meaning of the holidays

Courtesy of The Spruce

Celebrate the true meaning of the holidays

Tiffany Vo, Photojournalist

The holidays are quickly approaching and many are desperately seeking the perfect present to gift their loved ones–because that’s what the holidays are about. Shops are raided, huge amounts of money are spent, and people are satisfied. It’s simple.


Growing up, having been promised by their parents that they were to receive presents, children couldn’t wait for the holidays. At night, they would set up their long list of expected gifts on the chimney, hoping Santa would read it and grant their wishes; then, in the morning, it’s a race down the stairs as they rush to rip off the wrapping paper to reveal the exact item they’ve kindly asked for. Having been taught this tradition, it is reasonable for people to associate the holidays with gifts.


When it is the age to start purchasing and giving presents, the preparation can be stressful, especially for working mothers. According to Lantern, women can be “11% more stressed than men” during the holiday period. Still, any person can become overwhelmed with the duties they think they are required to perform. Instead of enjoying the festivities that take place around the communities, people scatter to buy gifts that hold no meaning.


There are countless stories of children crying and being disappointed in not receiving the present they wanted or not receiving as many presents as they would have liked. Even worse are the parents who begin to dread the holiday season due to the excessive shopping they put themselves into.


Nevertheless, giving gifts isn’t necessarily bad. It’s the fact that it can be a burden, making the process more superficial instead of genuine. The holidays have sadly become more materialistic and lack the spirit that the season is all about.


To add onto the pressure, teens are, for the most part, broke. Claire Marshall (11) expresses the difficulty of finding the right affordable gift for her close friends but ending up “buying a random gift card” because she “didn’t know what else to get.”  


In school, some classes decide to do Secret Santa, an activity where students are required to anonymously give a money-limited gift to another random student. Ava Kough (12) believes that the act is meaningless for “it becomes a competition” to see which students “gift the best gifts.” In the end, she would rather “receive a note that someone made” than something they bought because time is “so much more valuable than money.”


This holiday season, stop and look around. Indulge in the spirit and understand why compassion and authenticity is what truly makes this time of the year so special.