It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By Nathan Hritz

We’ve officially entered the part of the year where it seems days go by as if they were pages of a book. It feels like just yesterday I was concocting columns about Halloween and here we are getting into the Christmas season.

As I understand it, Christmas means different things to different people. Maybe you don’t even take part. So as a heads-up, I will be writing about what Christmas has meant to my family and myself over the next few weeks.

Growing up in a Judeo-Christian family, Christmas has always been a cut-and-dried subject. Baby Jesus’ birth is what my family celebrates on Christmas. When it comes to lights, trees, gifts and what not, Christmas seems to take on a more social aspect. It’s just what people do, and nobody really asks why.

If you ask me, I’d say the holidays take on more of a machine driven by consumerism. You see it daily, Honda has “Happy Honda-days” where you can find a vehicle for a better finance plan, and the commercials of the season’s hottest toy or gadget. Black Friday as a whole supports a corporate machine the way I see it.

However, while it is something I don’t particularly agree with, there really is nothing like watching a loved one’s face light up as they open up a gift with thought behind it. One of the more memorable gifts I’ve ever received was a flintlock rifle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with firearms, a flintlock rifle is essentially what the farmers in the colonies used to gain freedom from the tyranny of England – a primitive weapon to say the least.

Receiving the gift meant I could extend my effective hunting season from two weeks to roughly two months – a very thoughtful gift. I also find that handmade gifts speak volumes. Personally, I have an affinity for woodworking. If I had access to a proper workshop, I would surely make all my gifts by hand.

In that instance, there would be no possible way to judge the gift by value except by man hours, showing I actually cared enough about somebody to take raw material, and craft something for the individual specifically.

Bringing this all back to the Judeo-Christian upbringing, while baby Jesus was laying in the manger, he was brought gifts by three wise men: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In my faith, we give gifts to symbolize this event. Granted modern society has blown it way out of proportion, which doesn’t surprise me, but this is what I was raised to believe.

So, in conclusion, the Christmas season is in full swing. You can expect every mall to be just about packed full clear from now up until Dec. 24. You can also expect chaotic drivers and Christmas music being played exclusively on every other station.