A reason for the season: Are holidays losing their meaning?

Next week starts the season of returning gifts.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This time of year is known as “The season of giving.” A lot of emphasis is placed on gifts by members of both the Christian and Jewish faiths. 22News looked into whether the true meaning of Christmas has been lost.

Pastor Atu White of the Mount Zion Baptist church told 22News Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and not about giving gifts. Christmas is celebrated by billions of Christians around the world. “The true meaning of Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, And Christians all over the world really come together and reflect upon his life and the start of it.”

Irving Concepcion, of Springfield said, “It means to spend like time with family, the warmth of loved ones around you and just to share with people and give without receiving anything in return.”

Tis the season of giving, and there’s a LOT of giving and buying. This Christmas, shoppers are expected to spend an average of $929 on gifts, exceeding last year’s amount by more than $30.

For many, this makes Christmas more about giving gifts, and less about the birth of Jesus.

“However, upon reflecting upon his life, we reflect upon our own lives, and so we spend this time and really connect with family and reconnecting with friends and really to spread good gestures into the world,” said Pastor White

Saturday night, many Christians will be celebrating by attending Midnight Mass, while Sunday is the family day and the exchanging of gifts.

Next week starts the season of returning gifts.