Opinion: Finding true happiness during the holiday season



Kara Taylor

Kara Taylor

Kara Taylor is a freshmen journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at

[email protected].

First, I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving. If you did not celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had an enjoyable, relaxing break. For some of us, the holidays may be a cheerful time of year, for others it can be depressing. The holidays symbolize being around family, shopping and food. America does a great, or some could say a horrible, job of commercializing holidays.

On television, there is always a beautiful, big family with tons of presents and ample food on the table. Everyone is huddled around the tree or table in perfect harmony, and these commercials play quite often during the holiday season. Unfortunately, some people go without these aspects during the holiday. I want to encourage people to stay positive and be thankful around this time of year despite what they might have experienced or are currently experiencing.

Finances are a huge part of people’s unhappiness this season. Many people want to give more than they can afford, whatever the reason might be. According to Mynews4.com, the average person spent $752 last year on gifts. Relax, make a list and check it twice because you probably do not need to buy half of the things on your list. Technology and gifts are becoming way more expensive than they were even during my childhood and that was not too long ago. According to Bestbuy.com, the new iPad Air costs between $500 and $830.

Children are requesting these items at younger ages, sending their parents into a stress frenzy. Perhaps your 10-year-old child does not need an iPad Air. Adults can be just as needy at times. Maybe you cannot send your parents on that luxurious cruise they have been hinting at all year, and that is OK. There are plenty of wonderful gifts that are affordable and thoughtful. A major part of the depression during this season is feeling stretched too thin.

Take time to appreciate what you do have instead of what you do not have. Whether this is in the aspect of family, money or food, I am sure everyone has at least one thing or person to be thankful for. We base our holiday season off of what society shows us it should be about, and our expectations get the best of us. Most of our families look nothing like the families in commercials, and that is OK. They look perfect on television, and our families are not perfect, but it is our imperfections that make us special.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, you might have thought of what you were thankful for. Hold on to that throughout the season. If you did not think of anything you were thankful for, make a list. Whether your close family consists of five or 50, be thankful. Whether you have a full turkey or a turkey sandwich for the holiday, be thankful. Whether you receive three or 10 gifts, be thankful. If we focus on the true, priceless values of the season, we might feel a lot better about the holidays.

I hope all students end the semester on a strong note and enjoy the rest of their holiday season.