Spread holiday cheer with more than just your wallet

Every year as November comes to a close, the country gears up for the approaching winter holiday season. In the mix of decorating the Christmas tree and consuming pumpkin-spice everything, it’s time to take a moment for the holiday movie classics.

Every year, ABC Family hosts the “25 Days of Christmas” series, a lineup of classic holiday-inspired movies based on the legendary tales we’ve heard throughout our youth. Quotes such as “Buddy the elf, what’s your favorite color?” from the larger-than-life elf named Buddy and “I’m cuuuute!” from an overly enthusiastic Rudolph have become quintessential sayings this time of year.

Other classics like “Olive the Other Reindeer” and “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” also evoke the spirit of the holidays, however they achieve this through the print edition, becoming the standard for stories at bedtime. While there have been movie adaptions, the original stories seem to come to life from the encouraged imagination from the book.

These tales have wonderful values integrated into their story line that really elevate the meaning of the holidays for a younger audience. This acts as the primary reason we grow up with such a fairytale feeling about Christmas. But once we get older, we stop watching, and the holidays become a little less magical.

The spirit of the holidays also loses ground in competition during Black Friday, a pseudo-holiday developed to encourage a profit-driven vibe.

This year, stores opened on Thanksgiving evening, completely taking away from what the holiday means. Thanksgiving is becoming more about buying reduced goods and less about celebrating family.

This drive to buy things at “good” price is taking over our society and is becoming increasingly dangerous. Reports of customer violence over commercial items have been making headlines across the country.

In 2008, for example, a Wal-Mart worker was trampled to death because of the reckless behavior of wild crowds.

“Just before the store’s 5 a.m. opening, (Jdimytai) Damour was hit by a sliding glass door that fell as shoppers outside pressed against it. …The cause of death was asphyxia, meaning he was essentially suffocated by the crowd,”reported Business Insider.

The Monday following Thanksgiving has received a holiday of its own: Cyber Monday. Individuals now sit behind the screen of their computers, battling on the Internet for good deals. What happened to the holidays being more than just a commercial opportunity to save a buck?

It seems society has gotten so wrapped up in the quest to find presents and the stress of seeing family that the innocence of believing in Santa and magic of the holidays has been lost entirely.

The situation reminds us of the classic line from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought … doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps … means a little bit more!”

After 47 years, Dr. Seuss’ idea of holiday bliss could not ring more true. An hour or two of reliving these classic movie messages could be the wake-up call society needs to truly appreciate the upcoming holiday season.

Reach the columnist at rsmouse@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @beccasmouse.