Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Holidays?

I love this time of year. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on the blessings that we have. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior. These holidays represent time with family, giving, and joy. But as I'm watching TV and seeing all of these Target Black Friday advertisements, I'm reminding of something: What I DON'T love about this time of year is what our society is turning this time of year into.

First off, Christmas decorations and advertisements are showing up earlier and earlier into November each year. Pretty soon, we're going to start seeing Christmas stuff in October! Have we forgotten about the holiday where we are supposed to thankful for what we have? What a horrible thing to forget!

Not only are we forgetting about Thanksgiving, but these advertisements are even skipping the MEANING of the time of year. We are bombarded with messages that we don't have enough stuff and we need to go shopping to get more. We are told that we need to spend money to make people think we care about them at Christmas time. Why can't we remember the purpose of Thanksgiving? Why can't we be thankful for what we have?

Last, the commercialism of Christmas is taking away the meaning of the holiday. Jesus was born, and we are supposed to be celebrating his birth! Just look at His life. What about His life says, "This is how Christmas should be celebrated"? The Target commercials that are running now are driving me crazy. Yes, I think it's great that we give to one another at Christmas. But, these commercials are promoting going literally crazy over the amount of stuff we can buy for our Christmas gifts.

Now, I know that I'm not the most frugal person in the world. I do enjoy shopping, but it's something I'm trying to work on in order to be a better steward of the resources I have. I just think that the commercialism of Christmas (and commercials like the current Target ones) are making us forget what Christmas is really all about.

I have set two goals for myself during this holiday season (and I hope that some of you will take on these challenges, as well!):
1. Focus on giving gifts that mean something. I'm planning on making a lot of my gifts this season, and if I buy something, it's going to have something sentimental to it.
2. Give of myself to others. I want to volunteer before Christmas in some capacity. I also want to sponsor a needy family via Angel Tree (or something like it) to bring them joy and help them feel loved this Christmas.

An interesting movement going on now is called Advent Conspiracy. It talks about trying to bring back the true meaning of Christmas. I love their slogan: "Worship More. Spend Less. Give More. Love All." They bring up some good points, and their website is worth a read. If you want more information, visit their website here: