Imagine a World Where the Holidays Are About People Again


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As I sit here aggravating my Carpal Tunnel, surfing the web looking for holiday deals for Christmas gifts, I can’t help but think about other things I rather be doing for the holiday season. Instead of going crazy buying gifts I would rather build a snowman, go sledding and have a snowball fight with my family. Or I wish there was a way to bring back my mom, dad and grandparents – even for just one day – to recreate the HUGE Christmas morning breakfasts my mom used to make.

It’s so hard not to get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday season.

It irks me when I step inside a store on October 1st and see Christmas decorations up. I hate how people try and rush the holidays. Just the other day my husband and I were in a store looking for something to hang from our front door when my husband noticed barbecues lined up in the back of the store. It’s only the begining of  December and they are already gearing up for the summer season. Ugh!

Even the other day I was pitched things for VALENTINES DAY! No! No! No! Talk to me about Valentine’s day in January.

The holiday season is not about “things” – it’s about people and spending quality time with those you love. It’s about making memories – not making shopping lists. It’s about baking cookies with grandma, having a snowball fight with dad and having mom tuck you in at night reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. That is what the holiday season is all about.

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Thinking back on my childhood I barely remember any gifts I received – only the Ballerina Barbie I received the year my mom had to spend Christmas in the ICU when she was sick. What I do remember is how excited I was when my dad would take Santa and Frosty out of the attic, or the big family breakfast I mentioned above. I also remember chasing Santa down the street when he was on the fire truck passing out coloring books, crayons and candy canes. It’s the little things like that which make holidays special.

T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods discovered a family that had a particularly remarkable story that truly encapsulates what the holiday season is all about.

I hope you’ll take a moment to watch this brief video. It’s about an extremely close-knit, positive family with two selfless parents that run their own psychology clinic and a household with two children – a vibrant 8-yr-old Ayana and their outspoken 4-yr-old son, RJ. About a year and a half ago their lives were flipped upside-down when Ayana was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. They are still adapting to their “new normal” – living life in the moment and cherishing every moment. When T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods learned that Ayana spent most of the days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital undergoing treatments, they wanted to do make sure this holiday was different!


This video comes on the heels of a holiday campaign from the brands that is focused on Bring Back the Holidays, by reimaging a world where the holidays are about people, not the presents. You may have seen their ad spot– Bringing Back the Holidays and they launched a Twitter campaign aimed at literally bringing people together for the holidays.

“There are few moments throughout the year when family and friends are in the same place at the same time, and we want people to put value on what really matters during the holidays,” said Gina Bollus, spokesperson for T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. “In our world, we offer thoughtful gifts at amazing prices every day so that you can cherish that precious time with your family and shop on your time, instead of rushing out for the hottest holiday deal.”

This is such a wonderful campaign. I hope that it inspires people to focus on the true meaning of the holiday season. It’s not about what is under the Christmas tree as much as its about the people seated around the Christmas tree – you spouse/partner, children, extended family and friends.

Redefine how you look at he holiday season. Let “door busters” mean loved ones pouring through your front door and replace the word “S-A-L-E” with a more meaningful four letter word – “L-O-V-E.”

To find a store near you visit T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods online. You can also find the brands on social media (refer to each website for social media links).

What do the holidays mean to YOU? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

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*I will be receiving a gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.