Junior Advice: ‘Tis the season for family time

On Nov. 1, snowflakes, holiday songs and other festive decorations suddenly bombarded me. For the first time in my life, I cringed at the thought of the holiday season. For the next few weeks, I knew I would whine about the holiday season and the dread of emptying my bank account for gifts would slowly creep upward.
Being with my family on Thanksgiving made me remember what the holidays are really about — family, happiness and love. It wasn’t the turkey, stuffing or apple pie that made the day wonderful. It was being with my family and spending the day together.
After rediscovering the joy of the holiday season, I no longer found myself changing the radio station when a cheery song came on. I even ventured into the mall and completed almost all of my shopping for the holiday season. Since I have a shopping addiction, it was great to shop for others and think about what they might like. I have also found crafty ways to spread the cheer. HGTV.com offers some great ideas for handmade ornaments and decorations that are fun and inexpensive to make.
Most importantly, this rekindling of holiday joy has made me embrace those core elements of the season. I practically spent my entire Thanksgiving break in front of a warm fireplace and a movie with my family. I could not have been happier.
We have all begun to forget the true meaning of the holidays. Engulfed by commercials and thousands of sales, we have turned the season into a nightmare.
Black Friday is literally a battle that marks the starting line of the massive war to find the best deal, to give the ultimate gift and to make that special day perfect. The magic that we once knew in our childhoods has begun to disappear.
In order to rescue that bliss from being destroyed by the tornado of materialism, we must remember the true meaning of the holidays. This is the time of year when people come together to enjoy delicious meals, laugh and celebrate being together. It also marks the upcoming winter break from classes — giving us plenty of time to spend with our loved ones, share stories and catch up with what has been going on in our busy lives.
This holiday season, spend that time focusing less on what you want to unwrap and more on spreading the joy and kindness that once came with the holidays.
-Sarah Bergen
Junior journalism & American studies major

Printed in the 12/4/13 edition.

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