Christmas is supposed to be a time for loving and appreciating your family, but not everyone seems to have got the message. On Christmas Day a guy with the charming Twitter handle of @Fart re-tweeted messages from disgruntled present recipients, and the results were pretty disgusting. Here is a sampling:

“Yeah she was saying she was going to upgrade my black IPhone 4 into a white one but she didnt so its #f–kmom”

“After opening the presents I should have saved the $ I spent to get down here and bought myself an iPad since I didn’t get one. Wtf family!”

“My parents are the worst mother F–king parents in the world f–k you mom and dad for not getting me a Iphone. F–K YOU. FML. #Iphone”

When I looked at the avatars accompanying these tweets I saw they were largely written by teenagers, and wondered if the teenage Mike would have ever said anything like that.  After much consideration I decided that, while I wouldn’t have said anything that snotty, there were presents I lusted for, and I likely was pretty obnoxious about it (as only teenagers can be).

Imagining my life as a teenager reminded me of a promise I made to myself back in the day. I pledged that, when I grew up, I would never forget what it was like to be young and dedicate my life to showing adults they weren’t as right about things as they thought they were.

But then a funny thing happened… I got older, lived a little, and started to see that adults were actually right about a lot of things. In time I even came to realize that (gasp) young people could be pretty dense about life – a fact that tweets like the ones above demonstrate pretty well.

So here’s the thing, young people… the real gift of the holidays isn’t found in any wrapped box or stocking, but in the moments you spend with your loved ones.  This must sound terribly cheesy to you (and it would’ve sounded that way to me as a teenager too), but time has taught me the hard way that what really matters are moments like these:

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2011

The shiny iPhones, iPads, and all the rest are ephemeral… you won’t still use them or even know where they are in twenty years, but the memories you made with your family and friends will still be held close to your heart.

Roll your eyes if you must, but someday, when you’ve seen more years and cried more tears, you will know what I mean. And while I am not deluded enough to think that I can convince you of this now, I hope that I can at least convince you to lay off all of the “F–k my parents” crap. As hard as it may seem to be believe now your folks won’t be here forever, and one day there won’t be a present in all of the world that you would exchange for just one more Christmas with them by your side.