Illustration: Andrea Galvan
Illustration: Andrea Galvan
Illustration: Andrea Galvan

Each week, siblings Andrea and Amanda Galvan are presented with a topic and 30 minutes to debate that topic. The catch? They are not allowed to speak. Instead, they document this dialogue on a Google Document in separate spaces, but they can utilize whatever resources that the Internet can provide them to support their viewpoint.

Andrea: I’m sure there was a time when Christmas was all about being with your family, but the media and big corporations have made it all about spending your money now. When you think of Christmas, you don’t think about relaxing in your home with the ones you love. You think about how much money you have to spend by buying gifts for those people. Commercials and advertisements only encourage spending money too by offering sales. It’s just not what it used to be.

Amanda: You don’t always have to view Christmas as a burden. Gifts are optional, and even if you do want to get someone something, it shouldn’t feel like a problem. If you view Christmas as a problem because you’re too frugal to spend money on someone, just make them something. Yes, businesses and companies take advantage of the holiday season, but they don’t sell holiday cheer. It’s all about how you choose to see it, since nothing is preventing you from spending time with family.

Andrea: I’m not saying that I view Christmas as a burden.  Because media has burned it into our heads to always have gifts for someone, I’d feel bad for not getting them a gift.  Plus, you have to admit, it’s definitely awkward when you’re receiving a gift but you have nothing to give.  It makes you look super cheap and inconsiderate.  Even if you do make a gift, you’re going to feel like it’s not good enough because it doesn’t have that fresh and new look.  (Don’t get me wrong, homemade gifts are super cute.) Either way, you’re going to feel obligated to spend money because of what the media has done to our society.

Amanda: Even if you do spend money, Christmas isn’t solely based on sales. You can still enjoy it whether you buy things or not. Most people I know are happy about Christmas because of the break we get from school and the fact that we actually get to spend time with family and friends. Buying things isn’t the main focus, and they don’t see it like that. If anything, worrying about buying gifts makes you look kind of cheap. You don’t have to buy something extremely expensive.

Andrea: I’m happy about Christmas and being away from school, too. Every year, though, I’ve felt obligated to spend money on my friends just because I know they’re spending money on me. I probably am a cheap person, yeah, but I think it’s just because of how I was raised. Christmas is definitely more enjoyable when you’re focused on relaxing around your family and friends. I still think you’ll always feel that nagging in the back of your head about buying presents, though.

Amanda: I still don’t believe Christmas has turned into a commercial holiday. It still has that same holiday cheery feeling that you can get just from wishing someone a happy holidays. Gifts shouldn’t be the main focus of the holiday, because you and others can get the same satisfaction without them. If you look at it the right way, you’ll have a perfectly fine holiday without worrying about money to the extreme.