Dreaming of a non-commercial Christmas

By Garrett Walters
Flapjack Chronicle

Christmas is quickly approaching, a holiday of family, friends, togetherness, and of course, shopping. The experience of being crowded into a store on Black Friday and pushed about to get to things as simple as washclothes is enough to make anyone question holiday shopping. Though, for some, it is just unavoidable if they want to have a proper holiday season.

“It’s just part of the holiday, you know?” Michael Wells, 20-year-old Arcata resident, said in relation to the drive to buy. “It can’t be avoided, you have to have presents for Christmas.”

However, it turns out that here in the Humboldt area, not everyone agrees with this sentiment. As might be expected from a place with the mindsets that Arcata has a reputation for having, many prefer less conventional methods. However, among those that didn’t do Christmas shopping was one common thread: they just aren’t a big fan of doing it. Reasons why included that shopping just bores them, and that they just don’t like forced shopping. 20-year-old psychology major Curt Norman was among these.

“It should be a thing of finding something and being like ‘Oh, this reminded me of you!’,” Norman said. “It shouldn’t be forced. I don’t like shopping off of lists.”

Norman says that he prefers to give things like mix tapes, stories he has written, or things that reminded him of the person.

Another person that prefers to make things as opposed to buy them is Kayla Cimini, a 21-year-old English education major at HSU.

“I just feel like straight buying them … ,” Cimini said as she gathered her thoughts. “You could just put more time and effort into it then just buying a gift.”

Cimini’s preferred gifts to give are paintings such as block printing, which is what she is planning on this year, and making food, stating simply that everyone likes food. However, there was one other method that was brought to my attention, and that was simply not doing gifts. 30-year-old Will Hardy stated that the holiday shouldn’t be about gifts, just about family, so he just doesn’t do them. The popular belief however was that it should be a mix of the two, presents and family.

“Christmas should be about both I think,” Cimini said. “Isn’t the point of the presents all about showing others you care about them?”


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