How capitalism stole Christmas

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Why do we need so much darn stuff? The newest iPhone, the newest smart TV, the new Xbox or PlayStation. Why is the concept of asking for stuff for Christmas even a thing? Don’t we already have enough?

Every year, the average Canadian adult spends $766 on Christmas gifts. That’s completely obscene. Why on earth is the average person spending over a month’s rent on stuff that people don’t need, only to repeat the whole affair the very next year?

What ever happened to the concept of a homemade gift, whipped together with love and affection, and hours of time spent bringing the idea into fruition. Every handmade present I’ve ever received has meant a whole lot more to me than any material object I’ve ever gotten. It’s a tired cliche, but it really is the thought that counts. So why have we let corporations convince us that little Timmy needs the newest Xbox this year?

The answer of course, is that advertising is an extremely powerful tool, but that doesn’t mean we have to fall for it. So this year for Christmas, instead of getting that special someone a shiny piece of jewelry or a snazzy new minion themed toy, why not make them something that will actually matter to them?

Print out those old goofy selfies you took together and make a cute book out of them. Get your musically inclined friend to write them a song and pass it off as your own. Just take them out for a nice meal, sit down face to face and enjoy real human connection. If none of that sounds any good to you, and you just have to scratch that capitalist itch, why not spend some of your hard-earned money on something that will make a difference?

One of the best presents I’ve ever received was when my grandma made a micro-donation through an organisation named Kiva to a gentleman trying to start his own butcher shop in Ghana in my name. The man opened his shop and his life was genuinely changed for the better.

So this Christmas don’t buy anybody anything they don’t really need, don’t spend your money just because a commerical told you too, and if you are going to spend your money spend it on something that will matter.

Daniel Dorsk

2A International Development

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