The issue with gifts


The holidays are a special time where friends, families, and strangers come together and celebrate as one. However, sometimes presents (or lack of them) can cause negativity to arise.


As a child, I always wrote Santa a letter that listed everything I wanted for Christmas, which is typical for kids that age. My sister and I would wake up at six on Christmas morning, so eager to open all of our presents. Years later, my routine has changed.


I don’t make lists of what I want for Christmas anymore, and I don’t wake up in a hurry. I love the feeling of giving gifts more than receiving them. Expecting a ton of expensive stuff is not at all what Christmas should be about. Christmas is about love, joy, peace, unity, and kindness― not getting the newest iPhone.


Every Christmas I bake an enormous amount of holiday goodies for my friends. I spend about twelve to sixteen hours in my kitchen making cookies, brownies, brittles, and cheesecakes. I wrap them up and deliver them to about ten people. Seeing their reactions always lights me up; I can never stop smiling. There’s a difference between giving someone something you bought, and giving them something you made. 


It’s also common for people to get upset when they don’t get what they want, or when they don’t get anything at all. I think it’s selfish and unfair to expect some extravagant present from everyone in your family. Some people don’t have the means to buy presents during the holidays. Expecting gifts only puts pressure on those around you.


My family is huge on both my mom and dad’s side, so we don’t do presents when we get together on Christmas. I have hundreds of cousins― imagine the bill. Regardless, presents are the last thing my family thinks about during Christmas. Instead, it’s about decorating, spending time together, baking cookies, and wearing Christmas pajamas. If you ask me, those memories are worth way more than something wrapped up in a box.


Presents are great, don’t get me wrong. But never let them get in the way of what really matters during the holiday season: love and kindness.