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Community Comment: What really should matter during the holidays

When the Christmas lights at the mall aren’t blinding me I see a world where people are vulnerable with some barely hanging on
Black Friday: Hectic holiday shopping starts in stores across the US

  We are heading into the silly season, at least that’s what I call it.  A time for excessive consumption and indulgence.

I am guilty as charged, and every year I struggle to find a balance between the job of Christmas, versus the joy of Christmas.

The holiday hype starts earlier and is getting more extravagant with no increased value in sight, just one long road to our credit cards.

We can no longer be surprised when Costco is selling Christmas wrapping paper in September, and that holiday displays are up before Remembrance Day.

Take a drive at night in early November and you’ll see decorated trees in living room windows and outdoor Christmas lights.

Now that trees are plastic we don’t have to worry that the needles will fall off, and LED’s burn brighter and longer.

My social media feeds are packed with Black Friday sales two weeks before American Thanksgiving.

I understand the shopping hype because holiday spending is crucial for retailers’ survival. They need our urge to splurge. 

My mailbox and inbox is overflowing with requests for donations. There is so much need in society that it is imperative we share our wealth with the less fortunate, if we can.

When the Christmas lights at the mall aren’t blinding me I see a world where people are vulnerable with some barely hanging on.

One afternoon last month I was waiting at a red light at 12th Avenue and 56th Street.  A young woman clutching a tiny dog, was walking in the middle of traffic. 

She was dazed and confused, maybe high on drugs or just distraught. The light turned green and I lost track of her in my rear view mirror. I hoped someone would come to her aid.

The image of the woman has been hard to let go, she was suffering like many in our community who are feeling anxious in a changing world.

We are fighting new battles we didn’t see coming, and old ones we can’t solve. Exorbitant living costs, climate change, war in the Ukraine, and a drug addiction epidemic.

Come December many of us are pressured to produce a perfect holiday when finances are tight and expectations are high. Resist the draw of the commercial.

Remember what really matters, time with family and friends, simple gifts, charity towards others and most importantly not pressuring yourself to have the perfect holiday.

Ingrid is a freelance writer who can’t wait to bake mince meat pies.