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Holiday Consumerism

By Aleah Matthews-Runner in Opinion & Politics

It is early November. Snow has just fallen outside, but inside King Soopers appears to be Santa’s workshop, getting an early start on the season.

“We’ve… seen an intense commercialization of the holiday,” said a King Soopers’ shopper, “It’s more secular than spiritual these days.”

Mickey Mouse advent calendars, chocolate packets wrapped in ribbon, candy cane packages filled with Rolo’s, Reese’s, and Hershey Kisses line the holiday aisle at King Soopers.

In a small section of the aisle, closest to the front of the store, are Halloween items, with a sign that reads “Save 90%”.

“Sometimes you’re thinking ‘Oh! It’s Christmas decorations, I mean it’s winter time, so it’s getting colder’ and you think ‘oh it’s great, because it’s Christmas time and that’s wonderful,’” said junior Brooke Garbarini, “But then you realize that Halloween hasn’t happened yet and you feel kind of weird about it ‘cause there’s another holiday in-between. Two more holidays really, because Thanksgiving.”

When stores put out winter holiday items more than a month before the actual holiday, it perpetuates over-consumerism and, in the long run, has created a holiday season focused on spending money rather than spending time with those you love.

Over-consumption leads families to over-spend and to purchase items that are useless, such as plastic toys and ornamental decorations, simply because presents have become such an important part of celebrating a winter holiday.

“I haven’t really gotten a gift that’s not useless,” said junior Kentaro Umezono.

Advertisements and mass holiday consumerism lead to a large accumulation of unnecessary stuff. The best way to counteract this is to buy less and give more.

“I definitely have a lot,” said senior Sydney Chinowsky, “in terms of how much of it I use, I try to go through regularly and donate stuff, but there’s obviously still stuff that I either keep for sentimental value or just because I’ve forgotten about it.”

Yet for many students, holiday decor so early in the year doesn’t even affect when they buy presents.

“I don’t start thinking about [gifts] until December,” said junior Maddie Crowley, “And I don’t start buying things until a week before Christmas.”

Even though ads and social norms try to promote over-consumerism, this holiday season, share the gift of love with those around you, and learn to appreciate your family and what you have, instead of shopping and wishing for things you don’t need.

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