Materialism mania

A christmas tree. PhotoCo: Sergei V. Bulgakov

A christmas tree. PhotoCo: Sergei V. Bulgakov

A christmas tree. PhotoCo: Sergei V. Bulgakov
A christmas tree. PhotoCo: Sergei V. Bulgakov

  Everybody wants that new Ipad for Christmas.

  But has materialism ruined this holiday?

  Let us define materialism. Materialism is the desire for objects driven by greed and selfishness. Materialism is a philosophy, not an attitude. So, how has that been shown during Christmas?

  In the beginning, Christmas was considered a religious holiday, but Ipads and Iphones have outranked Jesus on the interest scale according to Lawrence S. Wittner, an author and professor at State University of New York.

  By all means, the other benefits of family and religion are widely recorded as important factors of this holiday by some. Emphasis on some.

  In fact, some people, including Wittner, would go so far as to say that “the United States is now firmly in the grip of a different religion: shopping.”

  A strong illustration of materialism is through a well-known shopping craze titled Black Friday. It began in the 1960s as a kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, but has steadily inclined to become a violent event.

  Don’t believe me? Take a quick gander at this short video of a store in Philadelphia where a woman brought a stun gun to her Black Friday shopping.

  The recent Black Friday provided the occasion for “Ferocious action by screaming mobs of shoppers who engaged in mass riots in their desperate attempts to obtain a variety of products…Their desperation was not driven by hunger. They simply wanted…more!” said Wittner.

  With Black Friday just before Christmas, the deals are enough to set anybody bonkers for savings to the upcoming gifting festivity, and the awesome gift is also enough to set the new owner bonkers.

  One of the strongest exemplifications of this materialistic belief is through children. They wait months before Christmas to receive that one particular item, and then are ecstatic when they receive it.

  Just take a few seconds to watch this video. Even a few seconds in you can see how excited that child is their new Nintendo Wii.

  Of course, the joy itself it not a bad thing, but an issue arises when children “Begin to assign happiness to consumer goods,” said Trent Hamm, writer for The Simple Dollar.

  When children connect their happiness to what material items they receive, the materialism aspect is in play. “I’d buy things and barely use them because of the rush of owning that product,” said Hamm.

  Hamm discusses how to solve the issue of materialism in children by not encouraging children to greedily ask for gifts, trying to create positive memories that aren’t associated with products, and reinforcing the power of giving over receiving.

  However, movies and TV shows have been known to advertise that Christmas is not all about the shopping. These movies are good for the Christmas holiday and elimination of materialistic philosophies.

  Movies like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” tell how Christmas isn’t all about the gifts and are considered Christmas classics.

  So three cheers for the Grinch. Who eventually came to realize that “’Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.’ He thought. ‘Maybe Christmas…perhaps..means a bit more!’”

Jade Zimmerman, Staff reporter