Holiday season about celebrating with loved ones, not materialism

If you’ve ventured anywhere since Halloween you know it’s almost Christmas, and for that matter you might want to get to the store shortly after the New Year to get your Fourth of July decorations before everybody else does.

Before I go any further, let me give this disclaimer: I am not a Grinch; I do not hate the Christmas season. Now that that’s out of the way, I will say that I do hate the vast over-commercialization of Christmas that has taken over society in the past 10 years or so. The season of giving has become the season of staying out in line all night and trampling other people so that you can be the first to get a 95-inch super HD combo TV/DVD player/microwave for $100 off.

Every year I read stories like this in the newspaper and I think of a quote by one of the greatest blanket-toting philosophers of the 20th century, Linus Van Pelt. The quote from the sage of Charles Schultz’s “Peanuts” famously remarked, “I love mankind; its people I can’t stand.” For the purposes of the sheer state of insanity that consumes people this time of year, I would say few people, real or fictional, have a better insight.

I’m not saying that I don’t listen to a Christmas song or two before Thanksgiving or even watch the occasional holiday movie. But when I see stores and businesses decorated to the nines before Oct. 31, I find myself feeling like Linus’ best friend Charlie Brown, and no it’s not because I’m always unsuccessfully chasing the Little Red-Haired Girl or that when adults talk all I ever hear is a trumpet sound. It is the fact that I find myself asking, “Doesn’t anybody know the true meaning of Christmas?”

To spare everybody the monologue the true meaning to the season, no matter your beliefs is to celebrate family and those who mean the most to you in spirits of peace on earth and goodwill to all.

While I do appreciate a nicely decorated yard full of lights and displays, the point shouldn’t be to outdo the Joneses and win the neighborhood decorating contest or do everything in your power to get a Red Ryder BB gun because we all know you’ll shoot your eye out; it’s a time to be with and appreciate those you love and care about.

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