The holidays are arguably the time of year that everyone is eager for. Whether the holidays have a religious or a secular meaning to people, most of the world gathers to celebrate and have a lovely time with their families and friends.
The importance of the holidays never ceases to increase in the western world and; subsequently, so do the efforts to exploit them for profit.
Now, commercializing holidays might seem inevitable when living in a capitalist society, but the marketing of holiday products plays mostly on guilt-tripping parents. The concept of gifts for Christmas is a great way to commercialize this holiday.
Today, Christmas is solely a ploy for companies to profit from. Whether it be extravagant decorations that you can see on your neighbours’ house, or wish lists of gifts at exorbitant prices that the kids’ friends are expecting, parents are guilt-tripped into this competition for the best gift; or, in other words, competing for who will spend the most money on gifts. It is a vicious cycle.
Even the origins of Christmas’ mascot, Santa Claus, is a capitalist icon. Santa was based on St-Nicholas, a bishop of Greek descent that used his inheritance on the sick and the poor.
Ironically enough, his image is now used to profit off of the relatively poor to make the opulent minority even richer. The modern-day Santa was used by Coca-Cola for their advertisements, and soon enough, it became popularized.
The bottom line is: holidays are a great time, and gifts are an endearing way to celebrate, but we should try to resist the urge to splurge monstrous amounts of money on them. Try to be conscious of the gifts you are buying and enjoy the festivities!
By Meriem Terzi