Halloween kicks off the start of a very long (and somewhat never ending), consumerism filled holiday season. Halloween is a good kick off since it is all about consuming sugar, our favorite “food” in our modern diet. Then Thanksgiving keeps us going on the food train with letting us celebrate a holiday by gorging ourselves on food. Thanksgiving is quickly followed by a full on shopping binge to help us out of our food hangover. Christmas is also heavily influenced by sugar induced foods but the consumerism seems to play a greater hand in this holiday.
In fact it seems the holiday season never ends. Once we start to recover from Christmas it is Valentine’s Day, then St. Patrick’s Day (finally a holiday about alcohol instead of food but still consumerism based), with Easter ending the major holiday season. But really Easter is quickly followed with Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor day. The list of holidays and ways to spend more money never seems to end. The more I consider the holidays we celebrate in the U.S. as a society, the more it seem they are all about promoting consumerism. Not only are we buying stuff to give to people and buying stuff eat, but we are also buying stuff to decorate our houses. Seeing Halloween decorations recently amazes me how much effort people put into decorating their houses for each holiday, how much money they spend on it, and how much stuff is lying around their house to be out for a few weeks a year.
It seems that consumerism is overtaking the true meaning of many holidays. To me the biggest worry is wondering what will my kid take away from each holiday as he is growing up. Will he see Christmas as a time to receive a bunch of toys or a time to be with family?
To me holidays are about being around people you care about and showing them you care about them. This doesn’t have to come in the form of high fructose corn syrup or a toy I got from the Black Friday sale at Wal-Mart. It can easily be shown by spending quality time with them. This is what I hope my child learns about holidays. But I feel it will be a constant battle since our society focuses more on the consumerism side of holidays instead.