It’s that time of year again, where most of us are headed home for the holidays and are anxious to splurge on black Friday and turkey with all the holiday fixings. On one side of the table sits the beautiful roasted turkey leading to an array of food; with dad saying a prayer and everyone laughing and catching up.

Eating good food and receiving gifts are what we, as Americans, seem to value the most. We can’t wait until Thanksgiving is over, because it means it’s about time to start writing out Christmas wish lists and maxing out our bank accounts to get our family members the best.

Obviously, this is something we all have bought into as the greatest time of year, but evidently we have forgotten the real meanings of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for family, and a time where we recognize God for all he has done for us by giving thanks. Whether someone is religious or not, there is a connection they associate with this holiday. The sad realization is most of us wait until Thanksgiving to really get our families together.

Christmas is a holiday associated with presents, food and family, but honestly it is not the essential purpose. If you are religious you know this holiday is set aside for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Many of us have strayed away from this fact because it’s easier to think of Christmas as a holiday for ourselves, to wrap our own presents and receive as many presents as we possibly can.

It shouldn’t take holidays and special events for a family to get together. Family is the closest bond we can ever have.
Frankly, most of us, whether we admit it or not, take our families for granted. We get so busy with our lives and what we have going on, we never stop to think about what is going on with our families.

There are many people who do not have families to go home to, let alone food or a table to eat Thanksgiving dinner on. Yet, it has become a habit for us to complain about the minimum we don’t have when everything we actually need has been given to us already.

In the past couple of years, there have been so many natural disasters that have separated people from their families. Even the loved ones of our departed soldiers have been separated from their families without any choice or say so. I guarantee all they would want for the holidays is the loved ones they once shared their holidays with.

I’m not here to change any one’s view on the holidays, but let’s take the time to actually think about what values are most important in life such as; family, having clothes on your back , food on the table and a place to sleep.

Can you be honest with yourself knowing that you take these things in life for granted.

Have we become greedy in our society today? That is a question we all should ask ourselves when it comes to not just the holidays, but our everyday lives.

-Rolandra West

rdwest@txwes.edu