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Opinion

Take time to give back this Christmas season

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December 6, 2012

There is something magical about the Christmas season.

There is a happier vibe coming from everybody around and a sense that everything is going to be all right. There are Christmas decorations, the smell of fresh cookies and smiles all around. Christmas music, get togethers and shared laughs are just a few of my personal favorite parts of the Christmas season.

Plain and simple, Christmas is about getting together with family and friends in a joined celebration of something amazing.

Unfortunately, everything I love about the Christmas season has become harder to cherish here on campus. The stress of final projects, papers and just trying to “survive” the semester consumes my thoughts.

It is harder to enjoy Christmas lights and decorations being crammed into a dorm room even though my roommate and I have done the best we can to give the room some Christmas spirit. The hardest part is the fact that being on a poor college student’s budget has made it hard to afford presents for the ones I love.

I think this is something that we all get caught up in during Christmas. It has turned into who gives the best gift. Commercials about toys and the newest gadgets consume the television yelling at us about what we need to buy for the people around us. “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” have turned into more of a holiday than Christmas itself.
The rush and hoopla of Christmas have turned people sour about the whole idea. It is no longer about the magic of the holiday, or just getting together and taking a rest away from the craziness that is the real world.

Now Christmas has just added to the stress that we all already have too much of. I have actually heard people say, “thank god that’s all over” on the day after Christmas. For me, Dec. 26 is the most depressing day of the year.

Christmas is a time of selflessness. It is a time of giving, and that does not just mean money or buying the most expensive things. There are many less fortunate people around us and what better opportunity to volunteer and help out then the Christmas season.

It is hard to find spare time to give being a college student, even if it means giving spare change to the Salvation Army bell ringers so that someone will have a Christmas meal. Taking one hour to go to a local food shelf, or helping out at a toy drive to make sure children in poor circumstances will receive some sort of gift this season. To those children who may only get one stuffed animal this holiday, that may mean more to them than we can ever imagine.

This may be a stressful time of year, but we are all blessed. I encourage everyone to share some love with the people around them. Do not take the people around you for granted and let them know how much they mean. You never know how much difference the small things in life can make.

Ryan Tibbitts is a freshman majoring in journalism. He loves all sports but obsesses over his Packers.