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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

What’s Under Your Tree?

Whats Under Your Tree?

The winter holidays have become a time where wish lists and wrapping paper are the most vital components to a successful celebration. Without presents under the Christmas tree or gifts next to the menorah, countless Americans would view the once religious festivities as a failure.

Older generations often criticize the younger generations’ fascination with “getting more stuff” and their emphasis on the importance of material gifts. A number of different organizations have founded websites that specialize in offering alternative gift ideas. These associations list distinctive gift substitutes, many of which directly benefit the environment or individuals in need.

Parents always stress the idea of ‘selflessness’ around the holidays, but spoiled brats are quick to turn a deaf ear-pointing no fingers, of course. Those who truly take the meaning of Christmas to heart will go so far as to volunteer at soup kitchens or ring the bell in a Santa costume outside Macy’s.

For those less devoted and more sluggish, however, the always-accessible internet offers an endless supply of resources, complete with the occasional useful option thrown into the mix. Among them is buynothingchristmas.org, an organization “dedicated to reviving the original meaning of Christmas giving.”

A number of alternative gift ideas are mentioned, such as the classic recipe book and the less popular puppet theater, but the website is heavily geared towards spreading the lost religious aspects of the holiday.

Newdream.org enlightens readers on ways they can be more environmentally conscious, as well as suggesting a variety of products for purchase which fall into the same category. The website also offers a link to an alternative gift registry where “you can give and receive gifts that complement your value system: the registry makes it easy to choose immaterial, homemade, second-hand, and environmentally-friendly gifts.”

Still, more websites propose different gift ideas. Alternativegifts.org gives viewers the opportunity to help someone struggling in a third world country. For the cost of a baseball cap, you have the chance to provide food and vitamins for 4 people living with AIDS, while, for the price of a monthly T pass, you can help nurture and grow up to 100 trees.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s webpage, ELCA.org, provides links to help with world hunger. Though I appreciate my share of material gifts, I truly would be grateful for someone to take the effort and do something as thoughtful as “giving” some of the gifts that these websites suggest.

These, and many more websites out there, give shoppers unique ideas which not only make the gifts stand out, but also those who painstakingly searched for the now fundamental holiday accessory.