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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Happy Holidays or Selfish Shopping

I’ve often wondered to what extent does society maintain its morals and values, for era’s past.

I mean, you look back to the 60’s and even further, and you can tell there is a definite distinctive moral consensus in society. Everyone had tasteful decorations that they often reused, got presents that people wanted AND needed and the whole holiday was about spending time with family and friends: to spread that Christmas cheer.

But what do we have nowadays? A tacky tree, children demanding douzens of pointless toys that are shinier than their neighbours and a day consumed by consumerism.

Thats not to say that these values have completely disappeared, but rather have been diminished over the decades. Sure you may spend time with your family, but do you enjoy it? Is it the foundations of the day? Do you do it because you WANT to or because your TOLD or its TRADITION?

To what extent has Christmas, and other holidays too (perhaps more so), been irreparably damaged beyond all recognition?

Toy stores worldwide strive to have the biggest, the best and the shiniest out on the market just before Christmas time so that children will demand them from their parents. Ant it doest stop there, its not just one toy or two, its several. There is quite an apt quote from Harry Potter:

“How many are there?!”
“36. Counted them myself”
“36?! But last year, last year I had 37!”
“Yes, but but some of them are quite a bit bigger than they were last year.”
“I don’t care how big they are!”

Now, this WAS talking about Birthdays and such, but the concept is still clear and applicable. Children are very susceptible to change and more often than not, they come to expect what they shouldn’t.

The magic from Christmas disappears in wake of consumerism and commodity fetishism, that is to say that we as a society ‘worship’ commodities and seldom view something for its ‘cost’ but rather for its ‘value’ to us as a buyer.

A good example of this is Coke. When was the last time you saw an advert that said “its tastes good.” Or “its fizzy!” It just doesn’t happen. Instead you are sold an idea, a preposterous and idiotic concept that if you drink Coke you will have consistency in your life or happiness.

Its a drink! And yet, as a consumer society we believe and encourage these forms of propaganda because, well there are a lot of theories out there.

The point is, this idea is evident everywhere. Even in these major holidays. The toy industry tells you that you need to buy bigger and more gifts for your children to show them you love them and to make their childhood ‘complete’ when in fact all you are doing is cluttering your house, wasting money and even instilling Capitalism into your kids.

The Capitalist Ideologies:
  • Individualism
  • Economy
  • Democracy
Or rather should I say:
  • MY toy is better
  • MY toy cost more
  • You can choose this toy or this one.
What has Christmas become? Has it improved? Bigger and Better?
Or is it just another excuse for us to show off and for large corporations to exploit us.
What will it be like when our children have children of their own?



Is there an end?


Anonymous said...

I don't know that consumerism and capitalism have completely taken over Christmas, but I know what you are saying. I watched my sister in law wrap countless presents for a 4 year old great niece - all things that she needs like she needs another hole in the head. But for at least a little while on Sunday, she'll be happier than ever! So maybe it's worth it.

In my family at least, the gift giving has in the past been a part of Christmas, but so was church, and giving to those less fortunate, and Christmas caroling to shut-ins and the elderly.

I hope you have a happy, joyous, loving time with your family and friends, Jack, and that Christmas keeps its original meaning as a celebration of good coming into the world.

Merry Christmas!
Peace <3

Wayne said...

Well said Jack; I figure it helps relieve the winter doldrums a bit. Christmas is like sex. When having sex we have foreplay and grunt like animals until the climax, and afterwards put on our civilised clothes thinking to ourselves 'What was that?'. After the orgy of Christmas shopping and the climax of Christmas day, we open the credit card bills in January thinking 'What was all that?'. It does seem crass to me to attach religious significance to a shopping frenzy. Jesus would be a lot happier if all that money went to the poor and hungry; He said a rich man can't enter the kingdom of God. Us capitalists will spend a long time in damnation lol. - Wayne :)(Have a nice Christmas anyway Jack!)

Anonymous said...

Aw honey, did you get a thesaurus for christmas?

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