As we enter into yet another holiday season, change is felt in Salt Lake’s atmosphere. Tunes on the radio play familiar melodies. The air is chilled and the hills covered in blankets of white. Stores line their shelves with soon to be gifts and decorate accordingly to set the mood. It’s a much anticipated time of year.

America is a largely materialistic culture. Valuing things that have great financial worth is nothing unknown to us as we idolize people of wealth in our societies. The problem with this during the holiday season, is that the importance of giving has evolved into the importance of receiving. Rather than focusing on meaningful experiences with family and friends or looking for ways to bring joy into someone’s life, we as a society have developed a sickening agenda. We obsess over pleasing others in hopes of reaping the benefits of the return of presents.

This year, I challenge you to focus on the giving of the holiday seasons. Focus on giving with no return. Helping with no prospect of compensation. Leave the gifts at the stores and look for more meaningful ways to bring joy into people’s lives.

Tristan Archuleta, Salt Lake City