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The One Where We Talk About a Christmas With No Gifts

Most people would agree that Christmas is a magical time of year, but has the gift giving become too stressful? Isn’t it a little bit odd that we sit in front of a computer and have to think about all the stuff we want to put on our Christmas list? Growing up, I loved writing my Christmas list every year partially because I am a lover of list-making, but also because I was so excited to receive gifts! After I gave my list to my mom every year I would actually try and forget what I put on my list so I could be more surprised. As I’ve gotten a little older, that has started to change. I’ve decided I’m not going to write a list this year because in all actuality, it’s just stuff.

The biggest crux of the holiday season is we wait for the 25th of December to open the gifts we probably knew were coming and then in a few years we don’t have any use for it anymore and we throw it away, or donate it, or it just sits and collects that musty smell in our closets. When it’s put that way, Christmas doesn’t all sound that magical. What would Christmas look like without all the “stuff”? Would it still be Christmas without the gifts and gadgets? Of course! One of the best parts about Christmas is that it’s become more of a holiday season where there are lots of festive things to do!

December has always held a special place in my heart, one of the biggest reasons being that is a time I have the privilege to spend time with family. I don’t see my extended family much so getting to see them is always so much fun but now being in college, I appreciate family time with my immediate family so much more. Christmas season is a time to savor every day because I get to bake cookies at my Mom-mom’s house and watch Elf for the hundredth time. December is a whirlwind of nostalgia and warm holiday drinks and Mom’s comfort food. There is a lot to appreciate and love about the holiday season besides receiving gifts or for that matter, stressing about what to get your friends and family.

Gift giving is obviously a kind gesture and if the person knows you well, it reflects their thoughtfulness and generosity. I’m planning on getting people in my life gifts but maybe this season go the extra mile and gift something to someone who might really need it. You can donate old blankets to animal rescues, or pay for someone’s coffee behind you at the drive thru, or donate old stuffed animals from when you were a kid to shelter. It is the littlest things that can cheer someone up!

I wanted to write this article not to make people feel bad or to put blame on the bigger issue at hand (the rapid rate of consumerism), but to remind people that Christmas has a lot more to offer than gifts, at least for me. I feel so fortunate for the love and support I get from my friends and family every single day and honestly that is the best Christmas present I could ever ask for. This holiday season I am saying to hell with all of this stuff and hello to the memories with my loved ones that will last me forever.

Hellooo :) I'm Jamie and I am a junior at Penn State majoring in Women's Studies and acquiring a minor in RPTM (Recreation, Park & Tourism Management). I love the outdoors, coffee dates, my friends & fam, traveling, lots of things really :) Her Campus is a place for me to practice my love of writing in an empowering space full of intelligent, diverse women.
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