They’re the caffeine in the capitalist’s coffee. They’re the billfold-breaking, bank-making catalyst of haughty headshaking. They’re the green glow next to Santa Claus’ scarlet suit – the Christmas consumers. Year after year, the United States gears up for what is to be a time of giving, taking and profit-making. Christmas.
Indeed, at times it seems the economic boost of Christmas outweighs the time meant for benevolence, cultural observance or religious reflection. While we enjoy the act of giving gifts to family and friends, the hype behind Christmas consumerism has reached levels of bizarre proportions – to the point of obscuring the intent behind the celebration and replacing it with useless consumer goods.
As most every American knows, the day after Thanksgiving is when automatic doors open and Wal-Mart women get trampled. The Friday after Thanksgiving is “a real big and important day not only for the shoppers but for the retailers – this is their bread and butter; that’s why they call it Black Friday,” Jonathan Hoenig, portfolio manager with Capitalist Pig Asset Management, told Fox News.
We must wonder, then, with the Christmas season beginning on a day so repugnantly dubbed as “Black Friday,” if the benevolent spirit of the season has been replaced by the call to shop, shop and shop some more.
Call it cultural elitism, call it old-fashioned, call it what you will – but the fact remains that the Christmas experience has been undermined by news reports, statistical data and bankrolling in the name of profit-making. Gone are the days when it was “the thought that counts.” With retailers banking on predatory packs of Christmas consumers, we wonder what the true meaning of Christmas is – and what it has become.
When we finish finals and head home to spend time with family and friends, remember those days when it really was the thought that counted – and maybe we can avoid becoming yet another faceless Christmas consumer.