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Merry capitalism and happy new year

Yourtana Sulaiman

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It’s that time of the year again: gift-giving season. Christmas is just around the corner, and people everywhere are opening their hearts—and their wallets.
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the biblical figure Jesus Christ, and observances date back to as early as 336 AD. The holiday is inherently religious, but many non-religious individuals take part in it for many reasons, and it has come to be widely celebrated.
Whether or not you celebrate the holiday in a religious context, it’s safe to say that it is about spreading joy and kindness and taking the time to appreciate what you have. Why, then, have the holidays become so heavily commercialized and capitalized upon?
Companies everywhere use the season as an excuse to sell to their widest audience of the year: gift-givers. Television commercials stress the importance of “giving” in order to coerce watchers into buying something for their loved ones, and Santa Claus, a home invader who meticulously tracks children’s behavior and has abnormally small people working in sweatshops for him, has become the face of Christmas.
These holidays have been turned into a machine for profit that is blatantly ignoring the values that they are truly built upon.
Not only does this commercialization distract from the real meaning, it alienates those who don’t have the financial means to participate in the materialistic nature of holiday gift shopping.
To put it simply, buying gifts can get pretty expensive, and for those who don’t have piles of money lying around to spend, it can become quite a burden. These people are forced to either dispose of non-disposable income, or to disappoint their children and families who have been conditioned to look forward to a gift under the tree. Neither of these options is very pleasant.
Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be buying gifts for those you love. Opening a gift is fun and exciting, and is a tangible way of showing someone you care. The issues lie in acting as if that’s all the holidays are about. We spend so much time and effort piling up the presents that we don’t take enough time to reflect on what we already have, the people in our lives and the joy of life itself.
So this holiday season, don’t worry so much about what you’re going to buy for your aunt or your mean boss who you don’t even like. Find new ways to show you care, give back to the community, and help those who don’t have as much as you.

Happy Holidays.

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Merry capitalism and happy new year