Consumerism’s consumption of the holiday spirit
For many American families, the Christmas season centers around exchanging gifts.
Giving presents is a tradition, but the increasing trend of valuing gifts based on the amount spent on them diminishes the tradition’s genuine intentions of expressing love to others.
Instead of giving to others who are less fortunate and spreading happiness for all to hear, we have become selfish and let material things become more important than the original intentions of the practice of gift-giving.
Materialism has become increasingly prevalent in American society, likely because of the consumerist culture that media, especially social media, has broadcasted since its creation.
“How did Christmas Become Commercialized?” from Smallbiztrends.com reminds readers what Christmas has become, “From gift wrapping to Christmas trees, department store Santas and beyond, what started as a religious holiday has taken on commercial significance.”
Furthermore, prioritizing gifts over the time spent with close ones can lessen one’s enjoyment of the holiday, according to a study entitled “What Makes for a Merry Christmas?” conducted by Tim Kasser and Kennon M. Sheldon in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
“…[T]he path to a merry Christmas comes not from purchasing many expensive gifts at the mall, wrapping them, and placing them under the tree, but instead from satisfying deeper needs to be close to one’s family and find meaning in life,” the study’s conclusion states.
While it is surely hard to generalize what could be considered the true meaning of Christmas, the holiday did not originate as an excuse for retailers to start boasting Christmas sales even before Thanksgiving takes place.
This Christmas season, along with going out to buy the latest technology or staying up late to get the best online deals, the Wooster Blade Editorial Board encourages you to instead give those whom you love and whom you are passionate about something sentimental and personal.