Dreaming of a throwback Christmas

North Wind Staff

Christmas, like so many other things, has changed before our eyes as we grew up. When we were younger it meant making memories, eating good food and listening to traditional music. The worst case scenario involved getting a whitewash from an older cousin.

Now that we’ve reached the age of gift-giving as well as gift-receiving, we’re feeling the pressure to spend money on presents for other people.

Gifts are overshadowing all of the things we love most about the holidays more and more every year. When we were younger, simple toys would suffice and it was always the thought that mattered most. Our parents talk fondly of those times, when they would make wooden birdhouses and tree ornaments for their parents. We made those when we were little, and those are the things our parents have hung on to.

Now, everything you buy comes with a gift receipt in case that person doesn’t like what they got so they can return it. Gift cards dominate now, making it even more impersonal.

The warm feelings of being around family and friends is giving way to worries; is the gift I bought going to be adequate? Does everyone like this brand of eggnog? Am I going to have enough money to drive back across the Mackinac Bridge after I buy my dad this Bluetooth speaker?

Maybe. But we’d all be better off if materialism wasn’t the end-all be-all of the winter holidays.

It doesn’t all seem to be going downhill, though.

We’ve grown to appreciate the sentimental aspect of gifts and for the most part, we would much rather get a family heirloom or finely-made hand-me-down than something new.

Another thing we have grown to appreciate is how people change their attitude, if only for a few weeks, during the Christmas season. Somehow, people are just a little bit nicer and more willing to help each other out. It’s important not to lose sight of the family traditions and the general positivity that Christmas brings out in us.

In spite of the obnoxious commercials from department stores and everyone posting photos of their Apple-branded loot, we’re going to do our best to enjoy the laughs, the food and the warm company first.