Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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One of Henry David Thoreau's famous and most common quotes comes from his book Walden, which states, "Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity." Thoreau's meaning behind this is that our life is too wasted by detail. He believes that lives should be as "Spartanlike" as possible. He uses the term "Spartanlike" because the citizens of Sparta were known for their rigorous, deliberately simple lives.

This newspaper article would be to the delight of Henry David. It is an article about simplifying the oncoming Christmas season with reasons and examples. The article begins by telling the stories of families that started "cutting back." Fewer gifts, less shopping, less money, and less competitiveness were some of the new resolution stated by the families. Before, to them, making a more enjoyable holiday meant increasing the Christmas list. Now, it means, sitting down with your children, hanging decorations, reading stories, and getting down the core of what Christmas is all about.

This article also mentions the commercial images and media that have changed the meaning of the season from a celebration with your family to money, greed, and material items. It also explains that Christmas festivals have been all about drunkenness, gluttony, gambling, and debauchery (sin).

Overall, this article is about how the real meaning of Christmas, now a days, is misunderstood and disguised by thousands of gifts, commercials, and the media. With the way that Christmas has grow to be so out of control and with all the craziness, Thoreau would agree completely with this article and would be thrilled to see it in the newspaper.

Thoreau, Henry David. "Walden." In Adventures in American Literature." Comp. Francis Hodgins, Kenneth Silverman, Milton R. Stern, and Rolando R. Hinojosa-Smith. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1989, 235-237.

Harris, Sheryl. "Simple Celebrations." Plain Dealer 10 Dec. 2000: 1L, 4L.