Give your presence, not presents

By: Doug Hardman

I absolutely detest the holiday season. I’m a scrooge. I’m a Grinch. I’m a krampus. Call me what you will, but the love is gone.
This time of the year, televisions and sound waves incessantly fill the air with not only Christmas music, but the agonizing sound of Christmas deals, specials and money saving tips. We even had to endure another dreaded Black Friday reminiscent of The Hunger Games.
The holiday season has become a capitalistic endeavor, with people caring more about buying the latest gadgets and gizmos rather than spending time with their loved ones. Sure, getting gifts is a nice thing, and it is better to give than receive. But why does the love we have for other people have to hold monetary value?
It seems we forgot love is the most powerful weapon we have ever had– the power to love each other for who we are, to always be there for people when they need it most and to just be generous, compassionate and loving human beings. Hate is spread daily, and the lack of love seen everywhere is appalling.
I do not believe in the holiday seasons anymore. As a child, of course, I was blinded by this new founded holiday tradition where all that mattered was the presents under the tree. As we get older, and wiser, I think we should be learning that love is given by our presence, not in presents.
The only gift I want this year is love. I want to be with the people I love and hope they love me as wholeheartedly as I do them. I’m done wanting things that don’t matter. We don’t always get what we want, so we should focus on what we need. We need love above all (besides oxygen, you smarty-pants) the unnecessary nonsense that the corporate media has melded into our brains.
I am sick and tired of the shopping, the gifts and the expectancy of material items in place of genuine human love. I am sick and tired of the hate, the violence and the war that we face on a daily basis. I am sick and tired of corporations cashing in on the brainwashed idea that you can only show love to someone by the amount of money you spend on them. Enough is enough.
Put your wallets away and open up your hearts instead. Invite your friends over for a drink by the fire. Go to the homeless shelter and provide company to those who do not have company to share. Call your parents and tell them you love them, even if you haven’t heard from them in years. In the end, we have nothing anyways, so why not spend our lives spreading and giving love? That Xbox is not going to be there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on.
I may be asking for the impossible, but the simple act of being with friends and family and just saying, “I love you,” does way more good than anything else I can think of. We only have one life to live, and one heart to give. Give as much love as you can, and you’ll surely find happiness. For all the scrooges, Grinches, and krampus’ like me, join me in starting a new holiday tradition: love, wholeheartedly and unconditionally, for as long as we shall live. Happy holidays, everyone.