The “average” American will spend around $800 on gifts for loved ones this holiday — more than what he or she earns in a week.
Retailers anticipate sales will surpass $600 billion this November and December, accounting for 20 to 40 percent of what a store makes the entire year. No wonder we’re buried under a blizzard of festive ads and in-store décor by the time the Jack-O-Lanterns go dim! Businesses rely on our merry buying power.
But as we elbow through the masses to get this year’s “it” toy or dig ourselves out from a flurry of pop-up ads, let’s pause.
The best gift isn’t boxed. It isn’t put under a tree or wrapped in a bow. It isn’t placed on a tray, devoured ‘round a table or hung on a railing. The real gifts are the recipients — the loved ones we’re crossing off our lists.
Consider this: Name each present you’ve received for the past five years. Memory fails. But, if I ask you, “What do you remember from the last holiday spent with your late mom (or grandfather or friend or ___)?,” you suddenly recall intricate details of conversations by the fireplace. Jokes told. Stories shared, passed on from one generation to the next.
Sure, you may cherish a gift received. But it’s unlikely you beam because of the gift. You beam because you associate that treasure with the person who gifted it to you. And who wouldn’t give the world’s presents for one more moment with a person loved and lost?
Don’t get me wrong. Who doesn’t enjoy being lavished from time to time? It’s human nature. Just remember the reason for the season isn’t the gift itself, nor is it the number of zeroes on the price tag.
To channel the sentiments of Clarence, the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life who finally gets his wings: “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.”
Let’s revel in the richness of experiences with family and friends, sustaining and satisfying us long after the items riches bring have rusted, faded and lost fad appeal.
Happy Holidays from the Core Bank family to yours!