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Can You Feel the Holiday Spirit in the Air?

Patch went searching around Laguna Niguel to see if people still believe that the holidays are about more than just giving gifts.

Has the holiday season lost its cheer? Are people more focused on what they are going to get under the Christmas tree rather than celebrating the true meaning of the holiday?

It's no secret that each December, the malls become flooded with shoppers, parking lots become battle zones and gift-giving seems to be the number one priority.

That said, Patch wondered if people are losing sight of the true meaning of the holidays and are just focusing on getting everything on their wish list done before Dec. 25 arrives?

We hit the streets and asked residents if they felt that the holiday spirit of spending time with their families and giving back to others was diminishing and being replaced with materialism.

Mothers Speak

“For me, it still feels like Christmas because I have little kids. It feels exactly the same. When you have children, I think you embrace the holidays more, and it is easier to get into the Christmas spirit. Gift giving has always been a part of Christmas, and I enjoy giving to others,” said Jennifer Kilger, 41.

“It still feels like Christmas. I believe that the holiday feelings are truly in your heart. In the general public, I believe that the holidays are making a come back and people aren’t afraid to say 'Merry Christmas' anymore,” said Carol Peck, 68.

What Fathers Feel

“The holidays are losing their spark. There are too many sales, and they all start so early now. People are getting to caught up in shopping, and getting the best deals,” said Tod William, 48.

"The holidays have absolutly become just about guying gifts and giving money. People have lost touch with what the holiday season is really about," said Kraig Kilger, 45.

More Thoughts 

“Buying gifts has always been a part of Christmas for me and my family. Just because people are focused on shopping and getting good deals doesn’t mean the spirit of Christmas is gone," said Lindsey Mah, 19.

"I believe holidays are all what you make it. You can get into the holiday cheer and participate in holiday events. The more involved you are, the more it is going to feel like the Christmas season. I don’t think that stores have ever really felt the Christmas cheer. They are just concerned with attracting people to their stores during the biggest shopping season of the year,” said Devin Lari, 20.

"I still feel that most people have holiday spirit. I am able to spend much more time with my family during the holidays, and we schedule family dinners to be with each other. As I have grown older, I have begun to realize that gifts don’t seem to be as important as they used to be compared to when I was younger. I would rather cherish the time spent with friends and family,” said Nicole Bescemi, 19.

St. Timothy’s Catholic Church

The holiday cheer can defineately be seen at Complete with a giving tree, food pantry and providing lunches to the homeless, St.Timothy’s is using the spirit of Christmas to give back to the community.

"It depends where you go look to see if the holidays spirit is still here. If you go to a shopping mall, then yes, it may seem that Christmas time is all about giving gifts. But if you were to come here, you would see that we are trying to bring people together, and give back to the community during the holidays,” said Father Paul. 

Every Monday and Wednesday, St. Timothy’s opens up its food pantry to needy families. This last week, it supplied items to more than a 120 families that included food, toiletries and toys to bring home to their families to make the holiday grind a little easier.

"We supply families with gift cards to Stater Brothers so they can have a family meal on Christmas Day,” said Tina Haeussler, who has been working at St. Timothy’s food pantry for more than 10 years.

If you would like to get into the holiday spirit and give back to the community, St. Timothy’s Catholic Church is always accepting non-perishable items to help stock its food pantry. Items may be dropped of at the front desk of the church located at 29102 Crown Valley Pkwy. 

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