Holiday Season Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman
Consumerism corrupts the holiday's meaning.
Most Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25. For Eastern Orthodox faith adherents, it's January 7. It commemorates Christ's birthday, even though it's widely acknowledged not to be that day.
Many African Americans also celebrate Kwanzaa from December 26 - January 1 to reconnect to their cultural and historic heritage. In addition, Jews commemorate Hanukkah. The eight-day Festival of Lights observes the rededication of Jerusalem's Holy Temple at the time of second century BC the Maccabean Revolt.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, the season also involves obsessive consumerism. Merriam Webster calls it "the promotion of the consumer's interests; the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable; (and/or) a preoccupation with and an inclination toward buying consumer goods."
Investopedia defines it as the "theory that a country that consumes goods and services in large quantities will be better off economically."
According to Wikipedia, it's "a social and economic order based on fostering a desire to purchase goods in ever greater amounts." Its zenith is reached during the yearend holiday period.
In 1915, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) first used the term to mean the "advocacy of the rights and interests of consumers." Over time, other meanings developed, including OED in 1960 calling it an "emphasis on or preoccupation with the acquisition of consumer goods."
It reflects a "keeping up with the Joneses" mindset. In 1899, Thorstein Veblen 's "The Theory of the Leisure Class" coined the term "conspicuous consumption" to mean spending to reflect income, wealth, and social status. He distinguished between industrial productiveness and other forms of business, producing products and services for society's leisure class.