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  • Writer's pictureEABH Newspaper Club

Capitalism Is Coming To Town

Isa Taranto, Isabela Camargos & Luiza Ribeiro

Disclaimer: The point of view expressed in the following article is not necessarily a reflection of EABH's values and the ideas presented are a reflection of the authors' analysis.

Isenção de responsabilidade: o ponto de vista expresso no artigo a seguir não reflete necessariamente os valores da EABH e as ideias apresentadas refletem a analise do autor.

You better watch out, you better not cry… Capitalism is coming to town. 

And bringing holiday sales.

With Christmas just around the corner, strings of light dangle from every mall's ceiling, ornamental trees light up dark highways, and inflatable Santas take over every storefront. People everywhere fight the anxiety of fulfilling their loved one's wishlists as it nearly means a fight to the death in a crowded Hunger Games Arena (BH Shopping). When did this wholesome festivity, once embroidered with the principles of love, charity, and family, become so futile and materialistic?  Throughout the article, we will explore the origins of Christmas and its imminent impact on pop culture and society.

Rocking Around Baby Jesus

As made clear by the name, Christmas is a Christian celebration originated from the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th. Throughout centuries, this has been a day of family union and miracle celebration. That, however, has shifted.  Though dominating pop culture, Christians only account for 31.6% of the world population. Christmas, however, has become not only a religious occasion but a worldwide annual event primarily geared towards the valorization of gift exchanges between families. This rebranding of Christmas intended precisely to transform the celebration into religion-free, to facilitate adhesion from a multitude of cultures, and, as one does around the holidays, generate profit. Following the change in the meaning of Christmas itself, its main figure, once Jesus Christ, has become the jolly, present-giving grandpa we all wish we had: Santa Claus. Interestingly enough, this iconic character, known for his red attire, once wore green. The reason why Santa Claus's color palette was so harshly reshaped -- and quite recently, as a matter of fact -- was no other than – you guessed it – Capitalism. Coca-Cola, the drink we all know and love (or hate), is also known for its red branding and was singlehandedly responsible for transforming it into the color of Christmas through an advertising campaign in 1931.

Other companies have also utilized this holiday as a means to further advertise and promote their brand. Enterprises such as oBoticário, Shein, Swarowski, and infinite others, have shifted their website's landing page and storefronts to fit a more "Christmas-y" theme, including the iconic red and green palette, as well as a plethora of bows. It is interesting, therefore, that this abundance of ribbons in stores of very diverse sectors and price ranges illuminates the change that Christmas has undergone: it is not about communion and family, but, rather, it is about the presents --- showcasing how materialism has taken over the holiday's meaning, and how companies today shape their marketing strategies to appeal to consumers who, overcome by the holiday spirit, may shop impulsively with much joy. The traditional Secret Santa, aligned with the legacy of generosity often associated with the holiday, are the perfect opportunities for special Christmas editions and product lines.

Capitalism, much like snow, lands on top of everything. It has not only seeped into stores and brands, but the movie industry as well. "Polar Express", "The Grinch", and "The Nightmare That Stole Christmas'', are just some of the many holiday movies pumped out by Hollywood. The quintisential movie "Home Alone", for instance, has grossed over half a billion dollars. The same goes for the music industry -- songs like "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and "Last Christmas" have become a staple of this holiday. The Billboard Hot 100 chart is now dominated by Christmas carols and pop-songs. This proves yet again that the true meaning of Christmas has been overshadowed by Mariah Carrey's whistle notes and the profit that it brings. 

Though this is a tendency that can be noticed in nearly evey holiday marketed, Christmas has a special influence on various sectors of the economy. Despite there being nothing wrong with gift-giving and generosity, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas: celebrating the joy of family union and, of course, the delicious food that comes with it.

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