Don’t be ashamed of desiring presents at this time of year, for some, it’s the only time of indulgence.
Capitalism sucks, and it’s actually destroying the planet. But it’s okay to indulge sometimes. It’s okay to like material possessions.
This time of year can put a huge financial strain on people and so we must be accommodating. Asking for highly priced items is completely unfair. That said, it’s also a time of year where those on low budgets actually get to enjoy material items and can feel indulged. It’s okay to enjoy presents. It’s okay to enjoy receiving presents.
Capitalism is bad, we know, but we’re all just trying to survive under it and that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t get a treat every once in a while. For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, it might be during another holiday or another time of year but the concept of gift giving is rooted in good.
It’s our expectations we have to address. The ridiculous sales, the overpriced games, the idea that if we don’t get more presents than last year we’re not as loved – these are the things that have got to go. Giving each other presents though is pleasant. For some people, it really might be the only time they get something in the year that isn’t practical.
“For some people, it really might be the only time they get something in the year that isn’t practical”
We’re expected to work all day, be productive 24/7 and live to see the rich get richer while we make small gains. Getting to indulge with gifts can be a rare treat. It’s not caving into capitalism to enjoy Christmas. We can still want better workers’ rights, an end to the absurdity of capitalism and be happy that someone got the hint and bought the right Pop! without suddenly becoming Tories.
The feelings most in abundance at this time of year are shame and guilt for either not spending enough or for enjoying ourselves at all. If we can’t give presents, that is not failing, and if we don’t give presents and yet receive them then there isn’t anything wrong with that. Those closest to us should understand the financial pressures of Christmas. The holidays are just an opportunity to indulge, but it should be free from judgement.
Gifts don’t have to cost much – if anything. They can be recycled, they can be homemade, they can be cheap and be utterly special. It’s not about assigning monetary value. A gift giving occasion simply offers a break from the mundanity and practicalities of every day life. Christmas is commercialised and companies put huge pressures on families to spend ridiculous amounts – that should be called out. Don’t dismiss Christmas for everyone though. People shouldn’t feel guilty for a day where they should feel special.