Buying the season

How the holidays have turned into a time of commercialization.

Malavika Santhosh, Reporter

I walk around the stores, eyeing the flashy holiday displays that are being put up. Shop windows call out to me, screaming the words “SALE!” Hundreds swarm stores, online included, in a mad frenzy, scrambling to get hold of the best deals. The holiday season has truly begun. But why is it this way?

Commercialization and consumerism drive us to spend more and more during the holiday season, more now than ever before. The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday sales will amount to a record-breaking $717.45 – $720.9 billion this year! With the addition of technology and new, improved marketing strategies to entice consumers, it’s no wonder that the importance of holiday shopping and sales has risen. So much so that I believe consumerism might just be taking over the holidays.

Diya Anoop (‘22) agrees and says that “the amount of power industries have is stunning . . . you have kids nowadays growing up thinking that the holidays are just about presents and candy.” The holidays have been commercialized to the point where I feel that they revolve around the more material aspects, like presents and decorations. What happened to the values behind the holidays in the first place? Are they still there, hidden beneath the greed of profiting companies and our obsession with worldly possessions?

Though I believe the commercialization of the holidays has gone too far, I still think we can preserve the more important values behind them. Ryley Pirak (‘22) says “it’s important to remember why you and your family celebrate the holidays.” Spending time with family and friends and taking time to bond with them is just one of the many ways to do so. When asked about what the holidays are really about, Anoop says “the point of the holidays is to share your love and happiness with others” and celebrating what you already have.

There are so many ways to show a person you care about them other than getting a present. You can give back to the community, make something on your own, or simply take the time to talk and tell someone you care about and appreciate them. Take this holiday season as a chance to do something different.

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