By Daniella Molina
Toys do not make or break the true meaning of Christmas.
The meaning of Christmas is much more than children tearing wrapping paper apart just to uncover play accessories.
The true meaning of Christmas lies in the reason gifts are given in the first place, which is to remind millions of people around the world of the most important gift of all, the gift of life.
However, over the decades in America, Christmas has been distorted and manipulated by consumerism.
Magazines and retail catalogs have shown happy children holding toys, the Hallmark Channel plays reruns of Christmas movies with happy conclusions, big fancy dinners and mountains of presents around a Christmas tree. As if the only way to have a complete and meaningful Christmas is to obtain the latest, greatest innovative items.
In an article published in August by The Guardian a headline reads “Toys could be in short supply this Christmas, so get buying now, industry warns.”
Or else what? What will happen if parents do not buy toys for their children? I do not believe there will be severe damage to the Christmas season with a few less toys.
I know personally, my children would not suffer if they were to get just one toy each.
The warnings for consumers about toy shortages is not a dire issue.
In September at a roundtable meeting between Vice President Kamala Harris and the Singapore representatives of Commerce. Harris said “The stories that we are now hearing, about the caution, that if you want to have Christmas toys for your children, it might now be a good time to start buying them. Because the delay may be many, many months.” I had not even thought about what to get my children at the time.
And then it dawned on me, all the toys I had seen online through Amazon advertisements. There are hundreds and thousands of options.
It baffles me how short the supply would have to be for all those toys that are already on store shelves, suddenly not being enough to satisfy the demand.
Out of all the concerns of the world in the current climate. Toys should not be the first subject pertaining to the words of caution that came from the Vice President of the United States.
I do believe children, adults and even pets deserve gifts. However, a gift does not have to be a toy.
I know that personally, my children would much rather build a blanket fort in our living room and play pretend all day.
The time played with toys is short lived and space lessens as the birthdays and special days fill with another toy.
I lost count of how many times they would rather play with the box instead.
What is being overlooked is the opportunity to find ways to give and receive thoughtful gifts.
The gift of a new jacket or new shoes, the gift of experiencing a tree lighting ceremony with loved ones, or going around the neighborhood to see Christmas light displays.
More importantly the gift of time and how that time is being spent.
Time spent making core memories during the holidays is more valuable than any toy.
I enjoy Christmas time and opening presents.
As a child, I did not always receive toys as gifts, and I still had wonderful Christmases. It was the Christmas vacation I looked forward to the most. I thought two weeks of no school was the best part of it all.
I was in elementary school when I learned about the three wise men and the gifts they presented to Jesus after his birth.
I attended a Cathlolic school so the lessons were a little more detailed than just a coloring page or one day of learning. We attended Mass every Wednesday morning, had plays reenacting the manger scene and sang songs at Christmas concerts.
According to the lessons, it was one gift of gold and the two others were gifts of frankincense, and myrrh, which is sap like substances that come from cutting the bark of certain trees.
These gifts were of symbolic meaning and not of entertainment. So this could mean that even back then, toys were not of much importance, not even for the sake of Jesus.
With all the things to think of in preparation for Christmas, people could keep in mind all the amazing gifts to give either along with or beside a toy.
For not all gifts come in boxes, bags, or packages, the best gifts are the ones that make memories. Memories such as taking pictures, spending time with family and friends, documenting life during the holidays.
Those kinds of gifts do not break or get thrown out so easily and they are the types of gifts that are much better than just toys.