Get in the true spirit of Christmas

“Bah Humbug” is a mantra that many people seem to embrace around the holiday season.

“Bah Humbug” is a mantra that many people seem to embrace around the holiday season. But even Ebenezer Scrooge appreciated Christmas, in the end, for what it was: a celebration with family and friends.

Yes, it is that time of the year again, when lights are put up on trees, Starbucks sells its red cups full of delicious holiday goodness and the stores begin having their holiday specials. There is a special feeling in the air around this time. Whether it’s the storefronts decorated in their holiday finest or the music on radio airwaves, something is different about this time of the year, and it is something special.

Perhaps, for us college students, it is the comforting feeling of finishing a term with nothing left academically lingering. Or maybe it is simply that there are no classes for the majority of December.

While the lack of school and all the decorations are nice, the true spirit of Christmas is spending time with family and friends, the people that mean the most to you in the world. It is a time of celebration and relaxation.

It may be argued that Christmas has been completely commercialized, which is true. I will not argue that at all. I do not believe, however, that the commercialization takes away the magic. I for one enjoy drinking Starbucks peppermint mochas in their red cups, getting deals on stuff for my loved ones (maybe even myself) and watching the classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Muppet Christmas Carol.”

Of course, these are the traditions in my family: going Christmas shopping in downtown Portland, watching some of the “25 Days of Christmas” on ABC family, going to the World’s Largest Christmas Bazaar, seeing the tree lighting downtown with Starbucks in hand. It may be buying into the consumer culture that has created the commercialized Christmas, but it also embodies the Christmas spirit of loved ones surrounding you.

You really cannot fight the commercialism off, and around this time, it is everywhere, no one is immune, no one is safe. If you cannot beat them, join them! You can create Christmas traditions around the commercialism that means something to you and the ones you care about.

Every year the commercialization does get out of control, and I would agree with many that Christmas decorations and sales should not be around before Thanksgiving, let alone Halloween. All you have to do is simply refrain from the traditions until all the other fall/winter holidays are celebrated.

Christmas is about sharing things you love with the people in your life; it is about appreciation. Giving presents shows someone you appreciate them. Now, I am not saying that you have to go and buy an iPhone for someone to truly show you care; you do not even have to buy anything, and all you need to do is make them a card that says you do. It is just something that is a little extra special to show your appreciation.

Christmas is also a time to give back to those who are less fortunate. Anyone can donate to a charity; whether it is an item or just a little of your time, it is this time of the year that people need it most.

There are often times when we are constantly moving from one thing to the next, being pulled in a million different directions. Christmas is a great time to stop, breathe and reflect on what we truly should be thankful for: the people in our lives. It is a time to get away from the stress of everyday life and be with your family.

To those of you who stress out more during the holiday season, take time for yourself, remember how fortunate you are and remember the true meaning of the Christmas season: the people who mean the most to you. Take time to appreciate the little things in life and let the stress roll off your backs.

Whether it is people you love or people you love to hate, Christmas is a time for family and friends, so embrace it. Embrace the feelings of happiness, embrace the people you care for, embrace the spirit of giving and embrace the tradition. ?