The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

It’s the thought that counts!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday.  Days of madness.  Everyone claims they will get their holiday shopping done early and grab some deals in the meantime, but in my experience, these days only justify spending money on unnecessary or selfish things.

Personally, on Black Friday I had planned on checking a few more people off my list and really take advantage of the deals being offered, but what I wanted to buy for other people wasn’t on sale … and what I wanted for myself was on sale.

Every year we hear we need to be less selfish and more caring around the holidays.  Unofficial holidays like these ruin the holiday gift-giving experience and the feelings that go with giving.  It has always been crazy during these extreme sales, but this year shoppers and their quest for the perfect present got out of hand, to say the very least.

There were reports that at an Arizona Walmart, video games were being grabbed in craziness out of adults’ and children’s hands alike.  A grandfather, in an attempt to protect his copy of the game, hid it under his shirt but he was accused of attempted shoplifting, according to CNN.  The report stated that when the grandfather resisted arrest, he was, “slammed face first into the ground,” knocking him out.

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This wasn’t the only account of Black Friday chaos. Also found on CNN, a California woman pepper-sprayed multiple video game shoppers in an attempt to beat them to the games.  She was able to pay for her game and leave before police arrived but eventually turned herself in 24 hours later.

What is the desperate need for these items?  Are fights and physical injury really worth the discounted price of a gift?!  No! They are not.  If I were the person receiving those video games, I would surely not think the price to pay was worth it.  Calm down and rethink what is important around the holidays.

Obviously this isn’t the way everyone behaves when it comes to holiday shopping for the perfect gift.  Not to be corny and cliché, but the holidays are not about the sale price of the gift being given. It isn’t about the gift.  It’s about the thought behind it.

I’m not condemning anyone who shops on Black Friday — I’m just asking for shoppers to calm down, and for people to learn to expect less, especially us broke college students.

Instead of fancy presents and elaborate ideas to one-up another person, try these ideas to save some money and make your gifts more meaningful!

When doing a Secret Santa gift exchange with friends, keep the price limited to $20 or less, or make a rule that the gift has to be homemade.  Save money and make the gift more meaningful — whether you home-made the gift yourself or had to really think or spend time finding it.

Everyone knows how awkward it is to receive a gift when you don’t have one to give back, but just say thank you!  Appreciate their thought, but don’t feel obligated to give one back.  You don’t owe them an explanation either.  Just express your gratitude that they thought of you.

Have a lot of people you need to acknowledge?  Send a card!  It seriously is the thought that counts.  Add a nice personal note and you have yourself a cheap, meaningful, thoughtful gift.  Winning.

Everyone loves the holiday season, so let’s keep the love and warmth going.  Think about others, not the gifts you are giving.




Martha Landry is a sophomore print journalism major and Copy Editor at The Spectator. 

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It’s the thought that counts!