With finals, registration for classes, and Omicron converging, it can be hard to find the heart of this holiday season. Not to mention, when we are bombarded with social media users flaunting the McLaren they got as a holiday gift. This in addition to head-to-toe trendy Bottega Veneta outfits alongside the gifted Louie bags and soft glam makeup, truly round out the posts.  This vision of holiday splendor can really make the average person lose sight of things. Yes, I said it, average. Most of us will lead average lives and will not have the financial ability to buy our significant other a McLaren. But, if it's a Honda, maybe.  

When we have conversations about how joy is lost with mass consumerism, an obsession with keeping up with others, and feeling like a chess piece in a capitalist structure, questions arise. I notice this especially in the culture that I am most familiar with, American Black culture, where we often try to emulate the extremely wealthy lifestyles presented in the media.  My response is that maybe we need to change the way we view words like success and excellence.   

Maybe success is getting through the day. Maybe excellence is better understood as returning to a cast aside hobby and developing it again. We need to re-imagine these words without their financial constraints. A lot of us in school do not make a lot of money. We shouldn't compare our lives to old money or the nouveau riche. It isn't pragmatic, and it's a reality check that I think is needed for many in my generation. Don't get so caught up in the flashiness of things.  

Practicing gratitude has helped me, and it enables me to see things from a different perspective. Practicing gratitude is as simple as thinking about or writing five things we are grateful for each day.  Perhaps it is something we can all try to do this holiday season. For now, I'm taking a step back and smelling the chestnuts, pinecones, and gingerbread. I suggest that you guys do as well. Every day is a gift, be sure to post that too. 


Elise was born and raised in Pasadena California and attends Pasadena City College. She is currently a Communications major. She loves writing poetry, reading, doing anything nature-related, and dancing by herself till odd hours in the night. Leave your judgments elsewhere.