Merry Capitalism

It’s no secret that the holidays have become more about what’s in your wallet than about the festive spirit. Jeff Bezos and his fellow corporate pals have become experts at monetizing your favorite holiday traditions to fill their pockets. As a holiday savant myself, I’ve been able to cope with this sad reality through my usual vices: delusion and hot chocolate. Unfortunately, this year, the capitalist holiday takeover has been put into hyperdrive. With the pandemic canceling everything from ice skating to ugly sweater parties, I’ve had no choice but to watch as companies hijack nostalgia and fake holiday cheer to sell us their products.

Don’t get me wrong, if a company wants to use Santa in a commercial to sell toys because, well, that’s what he does, so be it — but peddling out Rudolph and Hermey the elf to sell car insurance is utterly ridiculous. Corporations such as Amazon want you to believe that how much you spend equals how much you care, with the season of giving having been rebranded as the season of buying. We don’t need Duracell using Santa and the reindeer to sell us batteries — We are human beings, not blind consumers throwing our cash at anything that reminds us of holidays past.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: This article is dark. Well, lucky for you, I’m about to turn this whole ship around — Here are my tips to break away from the corporate machine this holiday season:

Tip #1: Holiday Films

Nothing gets the holiday spirit pumping through my veins like a good old-fashioned holiday movie. Whether you’re a fan of the classics such as “It’s a Wonderful Life”, or prefer a more contemporary flick like “Elf”, all of these movies have one common theme: togetherness. If there’s one thing Jeff Bezos can’t monetize, it’s our friends and family (though he may very well soon have that technology). Being able to share this festive season with our loved ones is part of what makes the holiday season so special, so hit the couch and get to watching.

Tip #2: Donation and volunteering

While the pandemic has been hard on us all, some are taking on a larger burden than others, and what better way to celebrate the season of giving than, uh, giving. With many uncertainties this holiday season, it is more important than ever to give back to those in need. You can do this in many ways, such as donating money to programs that serve low-income communities, or simply donating to your local food bank. They say it’s the thought that counts, but why not take action instead this holiday season and help your fellow human beings?

Tip #3: Smallbizmas

The third and final tip I’ve come up with is called “smallbizmas”. “What is smallbizmas?”, you may ask. Well, let me break it down for you. This article is all about how major corporations are stealing the holiday spirit, so what’s the best way to fight back? Shop local. Supporting small businesses not only allows you to give your friends and family a more personalized and thoughtful gift but also helps another family keep the business they’ve worked so hard to maintain throughout this pandemic. Don’t let the big corporations steal from these local businesses, be a Robin Hood of holiday shopping, and help your community — After all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

Now that I’ve given you all the fuel you need to make this holiday season the best yet, get out there and spread the holiday cheer. It’s time to take back the holidays, and it starts by giving back rather than blowing cash.