Playwright William Shakespeare once said, “A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.” Sometimes, I think this statement also refers to holidays as well, but sometimes the “sweet” can be replaced with a bitter disgust.
In many cases, there’s so much unnecessary hype in regards to holidays anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I love spreading Christmas cheer and handing out candy every All Hallow’s Eve. It just seems as though commercialism tells people if you truly love your family and friend, you should spend a lot of money you don’t have.
I can’t argue with receiving presents. We all say we just want peace on earth, but who are we kidding sometimes? Who wouldn’t want something nice in his or her stocking? Hey, I’m just being real for a moment. However, packages wrapped with golden paper and bright, shiny bows often take away from the true meaning of special occasions. They are also the lasting experiences we had as children.
On Valentine’s Day, we collected and deposited handmade valentines in an old shoe box covered in silver tin foil and red construction paper. We pinched one another on St. Patrick’s Day until we were bruised from head to toe. And as far as Easter was concerned, our only worry was not stepping on an egg with our good church shoes, especially if the egg had a prize in it.
For Christmas, my grandparents always had the most beautiful Christmas tree. It wasn’t the illustrious yuletide trees you’d find at a department store. Their tree was always smaller than your average Christmas tree, a couple of the blinking lights never worked, and the garland always shed and was too stringy. Nevertheless, it was their tree, and we looked forward to seeing it every single year.
My favorite holiday was always Halloween. Mom didn’t have much money to spend on elaborate costumes for me and my sisters, so she improvised. We always had fun making our own costumes. After we’d go Trick-or-Treating, we’d immediately return home. We’d sit around the kitchen table, sip hot apple cider and munch on popcorn, as well as the candy we’d receive earlier in the evening. The kitchen was often dark and the only light we had was a lit Jack-o-Lantern. We’d each have a ghost story to tell and enough memories to carry us from one Halloween to the next.
Now, that was special and far from anything you’d find at a department store!
There’s a lesson to be learned within this short opinion of hidden truth. It’s the secret to life and happiness. It’s a precious gem that can’t be found under any Christmas tree.
Instead, it’s what dwells within us all and what we keep alive for the generations to come. Wealthy corporations will always be about money, and the “sales of the century” will always mercilessly plague our televisions and Internet spam folders. However, if we always remember what’s really important and hold on to the joys of a simpler time in our lives, we forever send the message loud and clear that we’re unchangeable in an ever-changing world.
We always have been and we always will be.