Is Christmas Becoming a Capitalistic Tactic?


Courtesy of ABS-CBN News

Christmas has become a holiday where billions of dollars are spent worldwide.

Anita Tun, Photojournalist

With Christmas coming around the corner, people are enthusiastically preparing themselves around the world. However, is the economy ruining the meaning of Christmas? Christmas is a time where family and friends gather around, give to one another, and celebrate their religion for some time, but with the emphasis on gifts, material exchange, and consumption, the narrative of Christmas may be changing. 

Around the time of the holidays, people are exponentially spending more money. People buy new decorations to put around their house to make it festive for the holidays. Trinkets such as a new Christmas tree, ornaments, stockings, and other festive items are throughout the house. Although many families keep the same decorations throughout the year, it is common to buy and add new decorations each year.

Also, the season of giving is expensive. Giving various presents to siblings, parents, relatives, friends, and others can quickly turn pricey and turn this holiday into a materialistic day. Many people emphasize the importance of their gifts, which is the only significant thing they look forward to on Christmas. Although the significance of giving and receiving presents is nice, this factor often consumes the meaning of the holidays. 

Economists state that gift-giving creates economic waste. For instance, if a person were to give a poster to another person that cost $30, and the recipient did not like the poster it becomes a waste. Ultimately, the recipient would likely not use the poster, a common pattern seen across millions of people if not finding a use for their gifts. Therefore, throughout the world, this wastes billions of dollars annually (Amherst). 

Julian Lisboa (10) discussed how “it is obvious that companies make the same amount if not more during the holidays. Black Friday can also be perceived as an event where consumers spend the most amount of money even though they’re ‘saving.’ With that being said, the experience each and every one of us gets during the holiday season is all worth the money.” 

In addition, with the increase of Christmas lights displayed across neighborhoods, electricity bills tend to go up. Considering the rise in heaters’ usage due to colder weather and LED lights utilized as a cheaper alternative for Christmas lights, select houses decked out with Christmas lights may see a rise in their electricity bill this winter. 

The holidays are a time to indulge in making one’s house festive, walking outside to see the Christmas lights around the neighborhood, or admitting the excitement of receiving gifts. But with the economy feeding consumers with irresistible products, it becomes difficult for one not to fall victim to these capitalistic tactics.