Christmas is being co-opted

In other words, nothing can plunge you in the holiday spirit more than going on a shopping spree at your nearest mall. | Benz De Marshall Pierre, PantherNOW

Benz De Marshall Pierre | Staff Writer

Many years ago I became disillusioned with Christmas ever since I became aware of the strong commercial push that always accompanies the period itself. 

Many of us can hardly imagine Christmas without the gifts or several other material things that have become part of the tradition. 

However, what infuriates me is that such a warm and merry season is being co-opted by companies seeking to ride the hyper-consumerism tide that wipes out everything on its path. 

It’s no secret that the vicious “Holiday Sales Event” advertisements put us all under a spell which encourages us to buy more by exploiting our holiday spirit during this time of year, famously referred to as the “time to give”. 

That’s what Christmas is becoming, a time to empty our wallets and drain our bank accounts while extinguishing the true holiday spirit. 

Retail stores have gone through remarkable lengths in proving the full scope of their evil genius as evidenced by their cunning commercials. Some will profess to help us in gift ideas, others propose large “winter sales”, all of which are done in the spirit of hyper consumerism. 

In other words, nothing can plunge you in the holiday spirit more than going on a shopping spree at your nearest mall. 

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we’re definitely not immune to these companies’ tactics. I lost count of all the times I checked online for those “good deals” paraded all over the place knowing full well that my pockets aren’t deep enough.  

These marketing schemes are so effective that they managed to deceive a generation that’s openly critical of corporations. 

In fact, I would be surprised if young people don’t go rampaging US malls while holding the most damning opinions about corporations with their Zara or H&M bags in hand. A bit disingenuous from a generation whose single most prominent distinction is being environmentally-conscious.   

I find it quite laughable that we are aware of unjust things going on in the world, but we prefer to wait till the cozy days of Christmas to give others a little bit of respite. 

The season is often professed to be one of peace, reconciliation and all other feelings that should never be in short supply in the world at any time. 

The single day of Christmas may bring joy to all, but so must the other 364 days of the year. 

I admit that Christmas does have other benefits. However, years of tradition have, in my view, conditioned us to think the period is so special that it somehow has the power to stop hostilities. 

Though this may read like a diatribe from a self-possessed person who could never appreciate Christmas even if he were to try- the truth is actually quite different. 

I may be one of the few who actually celebrates Christmas from October till December. I always make sure to drive to the tune of some of my favorite Christmas songs, and jokingly wish my aunt a Merry Christmas in late October. 

But the hypocrisy that shrouds it is revolting, coupled with its perennial corruption which in my view is truly appalling . It may be convenient to buy new clothes at a discounted price during the Holidays, but it’s the sinister intention behind it that’s so disgraceful.

Christmas should be enjoyed free of the influence of convenient advertisements that coerce us to buy things because the time demands it. Gifts and reconciliation must simply be an added bonus. This time of year is to spread cheer and happiness not through materialistic things but through our daily actions.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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