Let’s give more, take less this holiday season

Lindsay Roberts

‘Tis the season to spend all your money and write a list of stuff you don’t really need.
Yeah, doesn’t sound right to me either.

Your family and friends will still love you even if you do not get them that coffee maker or the new print from Vera Bradley.

I hate going from store to store, forcing myself to think of something my mother would like or shopping for my friends and making sure I did not spend a significant amount more on one friend over the other. It just seems mechanical to me to run down a list of people who are in your life and measure their importance in a price tag.

I listen to students talk about their “Christmas list” and what they want to get and it stresses me out.

There is nothing that I actually need, and the items I do need I just buy when necessary.

There have been Christmases when I have asked my parents for socks and eye makeup remover.

When my parents or family ask me what I want, I get anxiety about asking for too much or feel like I’m putting too much hassle on someone to shop for me.

I am 18 years old; I no longer stay up on Christmas Eve in anticipation for an American Girl doll or a kitchen set.

I feel like as we get older it gets more expensive for our parents to get that “wow” reaction Christmas morning.

“Wow Santa, thanks for the new Blackberry!” It feels a little ridiculous.

I am not saying we cannot get spoiled on Christmas. Let’s face it: Most of us are pretty fortunate.

We just need to remember that the holiday season is about remembering how fortunate we are and that it is also the time to give back.

Maybe instead of stressing about gifts, we can give our loved ones the gift of giving. Throughout the busy year it’s hard to find time to do something charitable. There is an innovative Web site called CharityGifts.org where you can spend the money you would have on your friend towards a charity they would support.

If you do not have time this holiday season to do something charitable, I encourage you to at least be merry.

When I look back on my favorite Christmas memories, they are not defined by the gifts I received. It is the feeling I get around Christmas time that I look forward to.
The holiday season should be a time when everyone chooses to be happy, despite work, stress and the cold weather.

It is the one time of the year when we smile at strangers, bake cookies for comfort and decorate everything in sight.

So go ahead and enjoy all aspects of the season. Keep a smile on your face and have yourself a happy holiday.