Irony at its Finest

Ramie Ruble, Editor-in-Chief

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Today is the official kick-off of the holiday season, when radio stations start playing Christmas music 24/7 and everyone sets up their decorations.  It’s the day when a lot of people brave the crowds to get that one perfect item for their holiday shopping, even if it means taking someone else’s eye out to get it.  That’s what America has become.  The day after we give thanks for everything we are blessed with, we run out to get more stuff.

It always strikes me how ironic Black Friday is.  Thanksgiving is a day where we spend time with friends and family and give thanks for all the good things the year has brought, and it is the memories we value, not material items.  The next day we do a complete 180 degree turn and stampede other human beings to gain more material possessions.  Black Friday shoppers are notorious for being rude and cruel to other shoppers and retail workers as they fight over the last 50” flat screen TV.  Because that is what is important in life: the biggest and the best stuff.

Instead of racing for the last designer purse in stock to give to a family member for the holidays, why can’t we focus on giving heartfelt, meaningful gifts that our loved ones will cherish forever?  Isn’t that what the holidays are really all about?  It’s not what material items you have or want to give others, but the little gifts that just say, “hey, I made this for you because I care enough to make you a gift with my own hands” or “this is to remind you of all the fun times we have had this year and all the memories we have yet to make.”  Not just “here’s a gift card.  Buy what you want.”  Those little gifts always mean the most to me.  Even though it is nice to get a really nice, expensive gift once in a while, what are those really good for?  I like something that I can look at and think of the person who gave it to me, and remember all of the good times we have had.  It doesn’t matter if they spent $5 or $500 on it, because just the fact that they care enough to give a gift says that you really matter to them.

So why is it so important in our culture to have the newest of everything, be it the iPhone or 3D TV or whatever else is the latest and greatest?  Shouldn’t we be more focused on the people we love and care about or giving back to those in need?  Our society has formed these twisted views on what is necessary in life.  Why do we keep blending into the crowd and following the heard?  It’s time we changed what the holidays stand for.  Friends and family will always be more important than material possessions, so why don’t we start acting like it.

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