Christmas is the most significant holiday in our culture. Millions around the world celebrate it, and it is marked by the usual festivities. However, one must reflect upon what is actually happening in the Holiday Season to reach an understanding of what this holiday has become.
I was walking around in the middle of my town in October, and I noticed that one of the stores had their Christmas Decorations up. This was highly unusual, however it becomes less and less unusual when one looks around. When one watches TV, you cannot go two minutes without seeing ads for "Christmas Deals." The meaning of the Holiday itself has become more and more commercialized as the years have gone on. The meaning of the occasion has lost a definition, besides the usual cliche of "Do you have any Christmas Spirit?"
Many religious conservatives have taken it upon themselves to construct a "War on Christmas," believing that the hordes of irreligious liberals like myself have decided to try to get Christmas banned. This is just a pretext to allow them to pervade our society with their supposedly "religious" bigotry. They want Christmas to return to its "fundamentalist" roots, forgetting that the Winter Solstice, AKA "Christmas" was originally a Pagan Holiday.
Regardless, the point is, reflecting upon and understanding what our traditions are like allow us to improve them, or maybe do some actual good. Try to make the gifts this year more personal, or more meaningful. This year I gave my sister a Pyschiatric Dictionary, even though I could've just gotten her candy, or something cheaper.
Do not let the meaning of the Winter Solstice be obscured by consumerism, or faux-religious ideology. And try to enjoy yourself.