Brianna Weling, senior columist

With the holiday season in full effect, it’s a good time to start recognizing what you’re thankful for, who you love, and why this time of year has basically become excuse to spoil all your friends and family like it’s some sort of “who can get the best gift” contest.

The true meaning of “spirit” during the months of November to December gets lost between themed parties, fulfilling holiday bucket-lists, and everything else of the sort. At what point does celebrating translate to binge-drinking and competitive gift-giving?

First, there’s Black Friday- known for exploiting and capitalizing off of a money-driven population- in severe debt, and falling prey to silly marketing tricks like, “Buy 2 get 1 free,” and, “Spend $100 to get $10 off.” People willingly invest an absurd amount of money and time every year, lusting over so-called, “Doorbusters.” How can one dedicate an entire day to gratitude and appreciation, while planning to hunt for the best deals at their local mall hours later?

Department stores and clothing companies only encourage this obsessive behavior by opening their stores as early as 4 in the afternoon on Thanksgiving day and advertising extreme savings all over the media. There’s an obvious lack of consideration for familial bonding that individuals should be engaging in on the holiday literally devoted to thankfulness.

Because of this, teens specifically are becoming increasingly disconnected from the traditions and religious affiliations behind Christmas and Hannukah etc. Their interpretations of these holidays seem to be more about parties and presents over celebrating the religious significance with their families.

With the latest advancements in technology available at the touch of a button, showing off luxury gifts after Christmas is all too familiar to teens in this day in age. Whether it’s a collage on Instagram, a “What I got for Christmas” video on YouTube, or a Snapchat showing an abundance of presents underneath the tree, these greedy behaviors are virtually unavoidable nonetheless. This may seem like old news, but as technology improves, so does the public’s wants, thus creating a gluttonous society.

The rest of the year holds no exceptions. St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Memorial Day have become shameless excuses for casual drinkers to binge before 10 a.m.- and this is supposed to be acceptable? Their underage counterparts are no stranger to the celebrations either; since obtaining adult beverages has become extremely easy.

But where is the line? March 17th marks the death date of the most influential patron saint of Ireland. Memorial Day is meant to honor the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the armed forces. What exactly is it about these holidays that make partying a good idea? Is it a lack of education? How about a misunderstanding? Whatever the case may be, ignorance is bliss after all, right?

Unfortunately, it’s no surprise these holidays have become about everything other than their intended purpose. Fulfilling your own expectations, along with the desire to impress others has undeniably revealed a rather selfish side to Christmas spirit (and more). Watch out this 2017 holiday season and stay grounded!

Hopefully 2018 sheds some humility and saving grace to turn these infamous holidays to something positive.