Capitalism: The Spoiler of Christmas

Matt Kless

The morals and values of Christmas have adapted and changed with time, but we’ve come to a point where those morals and values have become twisted and sour.

Before Christmas, there was Saturnalia, a festival celebrating the blue collar workers and the poor. The rich would serve the less fortunate; they would place crowns on the lowest of society like beggars and slaves.

Saturnalia did not turn into Christmas, but many of their ideas were carried over when Pope Julias I declared the date Christmas would be celebrated, ridding of the festival which is still credited as being the Christmas predecessor.

Christmas then was about religion strictly, celebrating the birth of Christ. In the more modern era, Christmas retained the religious aspect quite well and adopted a new primary focus – family. As giving gifts became an increasingly important part of the celebration due to the capitalization from major corporations, companies saw the holiday as more of a vast business opportunity.

First coined in 1869, the term “Black Friday” wasn’t really used until 1905 after the very first Thanksgiving parade boosted shopping the next day. Then in 1924, that happened again. Finally, by 1966, the day was in print and highly popularized. Black Friday honored the values of consumerism, corporatism, and capitalism perfectly; it had participation from major brands to people living in debt.

While most businesses experience a boom in sales around the holidays because major corporations can sell on lower profits, the extremity of their black Friday sales could be far more intense. This pushes people away from their local businesses and closer to chains, depriving brick and mortar stores.  The agenda of bigger corporations and the crushing of small businesses thrives on Black Friday, showing exactly how many ways capitalism is poison during the holidays.

Christmas began with the celebration of the lower class and has mutated into the payday of major corporations through systematic marketing to the poor and middle class, demanding money to maintain a tradition they exploit.

The sickness of the chairmen and women manipulating the holiday to bring this massive influx of funds has ruined a once wholesome and amazing holiday. Christmas simply needs to return closer to its Saturnalia roots. It should be about family and serving, not getting roped in to seemingly good deals that end up returning to the top 1% in a massive scheme they’ve created.