Holidays: Reciprocation or Debt Collection?

Thinking back, the start of the holiday season began with Thanksgiving. The holidays can be celebrated in countless ways, but December general represents the shared feelings of caring and warmth among family and strangers. In more recent years, the holidays seemed to have taken a turn away from the spirit of gift giving based on friendliness and started to look like a kind of debt collection. What could have happened?

There is a discrepancy between the holiday seasons of the past and present. Traditionally, the giving a gift to somebody was supposed to be a sign of affection, appreciation, or a reminder that the person receiving the gift is cherished. Over time, reciprocal gift giving resembled a mutual debt collection. Black Friday is probably one of the most visible ways to see how the holiday season lost its way. The commercialization of the holiday season has convinced the masses that the expression of affection or love is directly proportional to the size or expense of the gift one can give.

How often are stories heard in which person A gets person B a gift unnecessarily expensive or grand. The thought of the gift given was once considered the most important part of the gift, not so much what the gift was. Person B probably wont refuse that high definition television that takes up all that wall space, but the gesture is probably lacking sentimental value that will last. The holiday feels like mutual debt collection because person A struggles to provide person B a gift that equal according to price tag. To avoid feeling indebted to the person giving you a gift, you may need to outspend them.

The lengths people go to also seem to reflect a shift in holiday mentality. Year after year, people line up at the small hours of the morning just so that they have a chance, not even a guarantee, of getting the highly covet phone in short supply. It’s not unusual to hear people getting pushed around, hurt, or cheated because they are all aiming for the same gift. On the whole, the simplicity of sentimentality is now a competition to prove who loves their child, spouse, parent, or friend more.

Reflecting on holidays of the past and comparing them to the present may not be fair. It is possible as one grows up the magic of the holidays is lost. However, refuting the challenges of the holidays can be tough. Often, there are instances in which pressure is felt because there is not enough time, money, or availability to get a gift for somebody else.

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