Capitalism, Consumerism, and the Holidays

Capitalism, Consumerism, and the Holidays

Carissa Lopez, Contributor

In light of Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to write something on an issue that I’m pretty darn passionate about. Every holiday season, you see stores lined with themed items and sales, whether it be Valentine’s Day with stuffed animals and chocolates, or Christmas with sales on any expensive toy you can think of. Companies love holidays. They’re ways to try and increase sales, and I’m obviously not about to berate them for doing so, it’s what business is about. I can’t blame people for doing their job. However, I’d like to propose what can be considered a problem about this.

Why do we need a special day to show someone we love them? Why do we put a price on showing someone our appreciation and care? We let kids aspire to have nicer, pricier things, and yet we don’t teach them how to work for it. We show them a commercial, they see it online, they ask their parents. Why do kids feel bad for not getting as much or as expensive gifts?

I’m not saying capitalism is inherently bad, and I’m not saying consumerism is inherently bad. These are two nuanced concepts, each with their own pros and cons. However, I don’t agree with greed. I don’t think it’s healthy to take holidays with actual stories and meanings behind them, and capitalize off of them which allows avarice to feed consumerism. The same consumerism that keeps this cycle going. You don’t need one special day to show your love. You just need the effort to do so everyday.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Flickr.

Featured Image: Flickr.