Early Christmas shopping stops your appreciation of life

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Caitlin Pierson

People of the 21st century are faced with the challenge of both looking forward to the future with the prospect of amazing technological advances and the need to have a life plan while at the same time trying to appreciate today. We are told to take every day as it comes, but we have to constantly be looking forward to our futures. We need to create goals today that will help us in one, five and even 10 years. We are expected to plan years in advance, when I couldn’t even tell you what movie I’m going to watch tonight.

With this constant emphasis on the future, our societal timeline is constantly three steps ahead. Bathing suits go on sale as soon as snow starts to melt. School supplies and “Back to School Savings” bombard students just as they finish up classes in June. Halloween decorations make an appearance the first week of August because everyone wants black cats and skeletons for a solid two months before the fall season even begins. Worst of all is Christmas: commercialism supports “Christmas in July” sales and decorations can be found in stores just after Columbus Day.

TV commercials have me stressing about Christmas gifts before I know what I want to be for Halloween, and the sales at the end of November contradict the entire meaning of Thanksgiving. After I finish an enjoyable, filling meal with my family, I feel the need to take a nap just so I can wake up at midnight and take an advantage of all the sales; some stores even open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

While these sales help me save money for Christmas shopping, they take away from the very idea of Thanksgiving: being grateful for the things I have and, more importantly, the people in my life. What hurts even more is how many people succumb to the Black Friday deals, but I digress.

How am I supposed to live in the “now” when there are advertisements everywhere I turn for the next big holiday or commercialized event? Don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas as much as the next kid, but I love Christmas at the right time. When I walk through Target on a Saturday afternoon in October, I do not want to see Christmas decorations around the corner from the Halloween costumes. That smiling Santa statue and the mini Christmas tree with colored lights do not belong next to the creepy clown masks and little princess dresses—they belong in stores when the weather is cold, the days are short and snow covers the trees. I want to be able to enjoy each day as it comes, not focus on the days that are months ahead—no matter how important they may be.

Why should I ignore the beauty of the changing leaves to think about the upcoming winter? I want to enjoy apple-picking now, so I can enjoy decorating a Christmas tree later. I don’t want to rush through the seasons, marking my life by the major holidays that passed.
Life is about the journey, and that means shopping for Christmas presents days before, not months in advance. Enjoy today, think about tomorrow and don’t consume yourself with thoughts about the upcoming months.

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