By Brittney Gasper
In this modern day and age, it is easy to become lost in the rush of it all. We are able to access excess amounts of knowledge in just seconds, all of it at our fingertips. Now, children spend their time indoors on phones, tablets, laptops, the list goes on and on. When I was a child, I spent my time outside, playing with the other kids in the neighborhood or even alone in my front yard. If I was inside, I was reading, or coloring, or playing with my Barbies.
Despite this change though, there is one thing that brings families together and reminds us of how things used to be before technology took over. The Holidays, mainly Christmas. A time where families gather together, and the world is cheerful and happy. Children laugh and play, and all the troubles of our everyday lives just seem to melt away. Or do they?
Year after year it seems that Christmas displays are being brought out earlier and earlier. In early October, the Macy’s store at Queen Ka’ahumanu had already brought out their trees and decorations, dedicating only a single and rather small display to their Halloween items, and a few slightly larger ones to Thanksgiving. As the month drew closer to a close, the Hallmark in the same location was already unboxing this year’s collection of ornaments.
Let’s take a look at some of the historical holiday sales in the last fifteen years. In 2002, (15 years ago) the historical sale point was $416.4 billion. Ten years ago, in 2007 the average was $526 billion, and last year’s average was $655.8i billion. The estimate for this Christmas season is $678.8 – $682, once again in the billions. Even during the recession, sales did not drop back down into four-hundreds, instead they hung in the low fives, according to the National Retail Federation.
It is in my opinion that the holidays are too commercialized, even here in Hawai’i. Kids want more and more as the years go on, and more often than not the gifts are high end tech or designer brand clothing/jewelry/bags, or expensive tech that is being marketed as toys such as last year’s craze toy Hatchimals, which is really just a glorified stuffed animal.
We live in a world that is overrun with technology and the race to reach perfection. We are controlled by advertisements to buy and spend in order to be richer, prettier, smarter, better. Yet, all those products do is isolate us from the things that should truly matter. Friends, family, leaving the world a better place than we found it and making sure the next generation does the same, and so on and so forth. This is what the Holidays should be about, and if you are a religious person than this time should be to remember and celebrate that.
As we approach Christmas, I hope that all of you take a moment to look around and breathe. Spend time with your friends and family, and have a wonderful Holiday season.