The Mire of Consumerism in the Holidays

When I said that I was going to write an opinion post about consumerism and overspending, I received mixed reactions. Most were along the lines of disbelief, as I am the type of girl who shops to relax and has an eye for a great bargain. Even so, I find myself dogging Western Civilization lately. It’s not the first time that I spiel on the concept of consumerism…I guess the Holidays really get me going on the subject. I am truly the last person to turn away from it: I like my material things, I enjoy being opinionated, controversial and also a tad bit superficial. Not to mention that at some point I was absolutely addicted to ‘Flavor of Love‘ and might as well have written a thesis on it.

However, lately I have been looking at things from a 3rd person perspective… particularly during this Holiday season and in my own financial crisis.

For as long as the corporate world has dominated our culture, Christmas has been a Holiday of ‘Presents first, introspection later’. Both children and adults associate the Christmas and Yule holiday to buying copious amounts of presents and who has the best lit house on the block. Yes…presents, lights, trees, Santa Claus, Egg Nog and carols are all a part of the Holiday season but well within limits.  Nowadays, it seems like instead of expecting one special gift from the heart, people are expecting piles of wrapped boxes glistening under the tree.

There is something wrong with that. There is a limit and it seems like in this age of excess consumerism, ‘the more the better’ is the norm and that limit line has faded to obscurity. I am making the following porposals that I hope some may take into consideration:

1. Set the Holidays aside as a time of community and love.

2. Keep the amount of presents to 2, maybe 3 per person.

3. The gift must be from the heart or symbolise something that can be treasured for years to come.

4. Keep in mind that corporations have no heart. Companies are only out there to make money, paying no heed to their employees and usually exploiting the customer.

5. When you buy cheap, you buy 3rd world production methods and support their existence.

6. Focus on the ‘culture’ of the Holidays. Who is ‘Father Christmas‘ or the ‘Holly King‘ and why do Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Osiris and Hermes all share THE SAME birthday of December 25th?

That’s all for my mini-rant. Let’s make this Holiday a meaningful one and take some of the focus off of consumerism and capitalism.

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