Materialism Detracts from Holidays

Ankith Hiremath, Staff Writer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: spending time with family, relaxation from work and most importantly, empty wallets. Society has embarked on a materialistic frenzy to acquire all of the newest fad items that will inevitably go out of style as the next year rolls around. The holiday season has transformed into an outlet for people to rationalize their ridiculous purchases. With 2018 wrapping up, the holiday mentality has struck prematurely as “super early can’t miss blockbuster deals” have slid their way into stores before Thanksgiving. What’s wrong with society’s fixation on shopping?

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the new and notorious “early savings deals” are at the root of our increasingly superficial culture. Thanksgiving, a time that used to be spent getting together with family, sharing stories, and eating until stomachs ache, is now utilized as the gate to the long awaited “doorbuster bargains” on Black Friday. Stores cater to society’s cravings for savings, with major companies such as Target, Best Buy and Sears opening as early as 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Economists joked that November should be renamed to “Black Month” with the endless teeter-totter of companies trying to outdo one another with their enticing deals. Clearly saving up to 25 percent on a 40 inch television has transcended the value of spending time with family.

To be fair, I can’t blame society for wanting to save money. I remember spending Thanksgiving Day scouting out Black Friday deals, methodically planning my purchases and mapping out the attack route of what stores to go to first. It is serious business. One mistake could prove fatal. Target could sell out of Beats headphones, on sale for the low price of just 100 dollars, so you’d be forced to spend 125 dollars for them at Walmart. Holiday season makes mathematicians out of the ordinary man. Materialism has percolated into untamable greed and superficiality,to the point where someone’s ears spring up when they hear the word “savings.”

There’s no break from November to December. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals slowly evolve and trickle into “holiday deals.” Companies create an endless façade of savings, which only serve to solidify their profits. Research from InsiderSales reveals that companies make more profit at the end of the year, outnumbering the rest of the year by 11.43 percent. Companies constantly try to battle for the lowest prices, creating a cycle in which major corporations are struggling to outdo one another and provide the lowest price possible. They have planted this materialistic seed in society, watering it with enticing deals so that it overruns society.

It’s in society’s hands to swim out of the pool of materialism. People need to spend time with their families and revive the ancient value of togetherness. People need to rethink their buying habits, preventing superfluous spending on products they purchase for the mere fact that it’s on sale. Spend this holiday season with your family and resist the urge to overindulge in the “hottest deals of the year.”