EDITORIAL: Consumerist Christmas

Thanksgiving began with the 1621 Plymouth feasts with colonisers in Massachusetts giving thanks for a good harvest. Colonisations like those in Massachusetts gave opportunity for the development of the present day United States of America.  It has also been the catalyst some of the most devastating events in recent human history, namely the conquest of the Native American tribes and the slave trade. Fast-forward 400 years and now, in the UK, we have Black Friday, discounted shopping the day after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas shopping period.

The British public are increasingly being pushed to adopt American consumerist tradition. Why? Perhaps it is good for the economy? A Christmas period starting as soon as Halloween ends is a great opportunity for the hard working to splash out on expensive gifts for the children, friends and family members.

Thanksgiving and Christmas alike are festivals of meaning and significance. This year, let us not forget that there is more to this period than spending money. The colonists celebrated a good harvest, an opportunity for survival, likewise at Christmas, the initiation of a religion teaching humility is celebrated. Let us thank our survival, let us remember the humility others have had. Let us not fall into the consumerist game. Let us remember that it isn’t Black Friday or Christmas presents that make the UK such a desirable state to live in but the selfless policies of the welfare state which attracts so many worse off refugees every year who like so many others globally will be celebrating their Christmas and Black Friday in the snow watching those more fortunate spending their wealth.

— Vahe Boghosian

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