Now that Thanksgiving is over, stores across the country have a duty to the people to have Christmas decorations and paraphernalia ready to go. Actually, with the way that the monster known as Christmas has been growing, most grocery stores display their Christmas decorations before Halloween. It is that special time of the year to empty your wallet for presents to give others, and fill yourself with the hope that you will get some presents back.
I personally have mixed feelings towards the present-giving on Christmas. On one hand, I hate falling into the consumerism trap that tells me I need to spend money on retail goods if I want to be a good friend. The advertising market has done a really good job of taking religious holidays and turning them into days of high profit. On second thought, Christmas was originally hooked onto a pagan day of tradition, so I guess it’s nothing new.
However, despite this resentment towards big business, I do enjoy getting presents for people. Presents have a way of building trust and friendship, showing that you care. Some people plan their Christmas shopping a month or two in advance. They know exactly what they want to get their friends because they know them “oh so well,” and they make subtle hints that they may withhold your Christmas present if you don’t do what they want. I, for one, do not like to hold my friends up to the blackmail that is early-present-holding. I almost never know what I want to get my friends ahead of time. I usually Christmas shop at most a week ahead of the day in question, with only a vague idea of what my friends might want. I like to be inspired in the moment. I enjoy the feeling of walking into a store, seeing something and thinking that it is perfect for somebody. I feel like it shows that I know my friends well, because all it takes is a few seconds to realize that it’s something they would want. Of course, some people would say I’m not putting enough thought into it by not planning ahead of time. You can choose to see it that way, but good friends don’t need to think for weeks about a present. They just know their friends that well.
But really, who do we get presents for? I used to like getting presents for all of my friends. But that was until I realized that I had gained quite a few friends over the years. Giving presents is a type of holiday tradition. Keeping that mentality, I try to get presents for people that I have consistently exchanged presents with in the past. That does not mean that new people can’t be brought into the fold, but there has to be some way to decide who is “worthy” enough of your money. Go spread some Christmas cheer, because Christmas is only three weeks away!
By Mike Metz