Celebrate the Holidays with Thoughtful Gifts

Celebrate the Holidays with Thoughtful Gifts

Youngjoo Ahn, Staff Writer

After Thanksgiving, it seems like the perfect time for everyone to start celebrating Christmas. We take out our Christmas decorations and all those memories of Christmas past. Stores start to display Christmas themed signs and signs of life are visible in annual Christmas tree farms. Radio stations are given begrudging approval to play Christmas music and people start to frantically search for ugly Christmas sweaters tucked somewhere far away in some box. ABC Family starts playing movie marathons, starting with the Home Alone series. Even though Christmas is about a month away, I can’t help but feeling that Christmas cheer.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays just because it’s another time for families and friends to get together and celebrate with food and music. I’ve met many relatives I didn’t know I had at Christmas gatherings. Besides, you can never have enough holiday spirit.

However, nowadays it seems that Christmas has become a time to brag about the greatest Christmas gifts and winter break vacations. One six year old girl I babysit even rolled her eyes at me when I asked her if she had written to Santa yet. She was the same girl that tossed my artfully drawn stick-figure card on the carpet to squeal excitedly to her mom about the gift card. Gifts are a huge part of Christmas but receiving them shouldn’t be the only part.

Gift cards are really easy to give because the only dilemma is deciding which one to give. There isn’t much thought put into gift cards but no one gets upset over receiving one. I remember when I was in fourth grade and there was a huge family gathering at my aunt’s house. I was so excited to open gifts and had been waiting since the moment we rang the doorbell to see what cool things my relatives had gotten me. My aunt was smiling proudly as she gave me one of the worst sweaters ever. I tried to smile but I admit that the sweater was tossed just as readily as that card I drawn. I never wore that sweater and maybe my aunt and I would have both been satisfied if my aunt had simply gotten me a gift card.
I was cleaning out my room when I stumbled upon a collection of cards from past birthdays, Christmases, and even my elementary graduation. I spent the whole afternoon reading the thoughtful things people had written to me. Their memories and words made me smile in a way that gift cards can’t. Gift cards bring momentary happiness, but how many of us remember what exactly we bought or keep used gift cards?
It’s not terribly difficult to give someone a meaningful gift. Even taking ten minutes of your day to write someone a card for the coming holidays will bring a smile. It doesn’t take a huge, expensive, and fancy gift to express the joy that Christmas is about. But perhaps, you should get a gift card and write a card just to be safe. Meanwhile, I’ll be making another artsy card for that six year old girl in hopes that it won’t be thrown onto the carpet.