Money Doesn’t Hurt the Holidays

Often we hear that the holidays have fallen victim to commercialization and consumerism; leaving behind the true goal of the season: sharing with those you care about.

To that, I say tough tinsel!

According to a Gallup poll in 2000, 85 percent of Americans feel that the holiday season has become too commercialized.

But when “Home Alone” or “Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys” comes on TV, we don’t seem to mind settling down and watching it.

A common complaint is that department stores will begin playing their holiday music before thanksgiving has even taken place. The transition marks a shift in the season and a gentle starting gun to the holiday festivities. But the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Americans spent over $40 billion this year. That isn’t Best Buy’s fault. And regardless, stores will still be swamped on Christmas Eve, even after the early warning of decorations in November.

While certain pressures from the industry may steer our tastes, they exist in different varieties year round, not just for the holidays.

The holiday season is, and should continue to be, about peace on earth and goodwill to one another. So should one feel overwhelmed and extra stimulated for a month or two throughout the year it is less likely the result of changing colors of M&Ms and more likely an inability to recognize that Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and everything else is more a direct result of our own behavior and less that of corporate entities.

Like so many things in life, when it comes down to it, the amount of pleasure, joy and love that we receive is a direct result of the amount that we share.