To be honest, I think these days Christmas is all about buying gifts and spending money. Well, not these days literally, but this is a well-known consumer society tradition that has been present in our life since we can remember. It’s not just the action of spending hours in malls and shopping centers instead of spending time with friends and family what annoys me, but the common belief that we’ll find happiness by spending money we may not have, in order to buy things we don’t need, to some people we usually don’t like.
Thankfully, my family is not all like this. We like to show we care about others by giving them gifts, and I personally dislike those who use presents to emotionally compensate people they offended. My relatives are the 1st kind of people. We still give each other presents that we buy; but we also celebrate, with a family dinner, we are once more together, happy and healthy. Although —and I’m not going to lie to you— it’s been quite long since we last celebrated Jesus birth. I wonder how many people out there remember the original meaning of Christmas; I mean, I’m thinking of those who do not idolatrize Santa or credit cards.
I just don’t get it. To me, money ain’t the source of happiness. Material possessions either. So, I believe those who get crazy about buying and receiving presents for Christmas are missing the whole point of gifts: the reciprocity in the favor exchange. It may be the sociologist side in me, but I can’t help being reminded by Marcel Mauss’ work, “The Gift”, about the symbolic meaning of exchanging presents. So I just cannot tolerate the consumer meaning behind Christmas and every festivity.
Here you have some pictures that may, or may not, make you smirk.
If not, then they’ll make you think about Christmas spirit:
“We spend money that we do not have,
on things we do not need,
to impress people who do not care.”