The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Consumerism chokes holidays

Consumerist culture has taken over America, and it can be seen in the culture that surrounds Halloween.

Characters from children’s movies are simplified and transformed into costumes and sold at exorbitant prices.

Parents and adults in the neighborhood are obliged to buy candy by the pound and decorations for their yard.

For late teenagers and young adults, the drill isn’t much different. The costumes are sluttier, and beer is more important than candy, but it’s the same picture with different colors.

This consumerism is a byproduct of capitalism and helps to drive the economy. But when it infringes on holidays, it’s a problem.

Halloween evolved from a gaggle of holidays either celebrating the fall harvest or honoring the dead.

We’re not all religious, but dressing up as Superman and partying all night in the name of a day of harvesting and reverence for the fallen seems a little incongruous.

It’s not just Halloween. Halloween only opens the door for season after season of holidays with television advertisements reminding us every seven minutes that Thanksgiving and the cluster of December holidays are fast approaching.

On Thanksgiving, a celebration of the pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to survive the harsh winter in New England, families feel obligated to feast — in restaurants if they don’t cook.

Throughout December, parents and friends are pressured to bestow gifts upon each other in celebration of a variety of holidays, many of which were created mainly to spread a tradition of excessive gift-giving outside Christianity.

As the year cycles, it gets worse. If lovers don’t produce a heart-shaped box or flowers on Valentine’s Day, they could be single in a hurry, but no one really remembers who St. Valentine was or why he has a holiday named after him. St. Patrick is relegated to similar apathy in March. His characteristics are celebrated with green beer.

We don’t need to make these holidays solely about martyred priests or Western religion’s spread to Ireland. We don’t even need to stop partying on these days.

But we do need to take a step back from the consumerism that has made itself more important than either of these things.

Start taking that step back this Halloween. Make your own costumes and decorations.

Capitalism will be capitalism, but we can put some standards in when we try.

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