I Saw Mommy Kissing Jeff Bezos


Jack Davis, Cen10 News Reporter

A spectre is haunting America – the spectre of the holiday season. A time meant for everyone to participate in merry festivities and gay apparel is drenched in the corrupt, corporate slime of great deals, Black Friday hordes, and consumerism. Christmas has become a corporate holiday, where big retailers and companies like Hallmark, Amazon, Walmart, and so on look to make the biggest bucks of the year, which means we, the consumers, are providing those big bucks. 

In the holiday season of 2017, big commerce giants reported total profits of up to billions of dollars. The most grotesque of the sort being Amazon making a grand total of $7.646 billion in sales from Thanksgiving week, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales. After Amazon, the next highest profit was retail giant Best Buy, who garnered a total profit of $1.46 billion in Black Friday and Thanksgiving week sales. These companies hit their jackpot with seasonal deals and sales, and they are only a couple examples of the massive profits that retailers are looking for during the holidays. Unfortunately, as they make their money, many of the consumers of these companies go into financial troubles.

Holiday debt is a very real thing. A survey of 769 Americans from the financial advice web page MagnifyMoney shows that in December of 2018, the people surveyed had racked up about an average of $1,230 in debt. Further questions in the same survey revealed that about 64% of those in the survey were not expecting debt to pile up for the holidays, and that 68% of said debt was put on credit cards.

These unfortunate numbers are the byproducts of the pressure to make the perfect and picturesque holiday setting. The best decorations, the most high-end presents, the most delicious food, etc.; all of these are regarded by big-spender culture as absolute essentials to the most wonderful time of the year. Corporate greed, consumerism, and the joy of spending time with loved ones are mutually incompatible, and the prolonged existence of consumerism is a net loss on the general populace. 

The relationship between corporate profits and consumer debt is parasitic; the corporations being the profit-motivated parasite and the consumers being the hypnotized-by-sales host. Retail megacorporations have sucked away the joy of the festive season for their own gain, while we, the buyers, are left emotionally and financially drained. 

Escaping the clutches of capitalist Christmas may seem like a daunting task, but it’s one that we all must do. For our mental and monetary health, we must resist the urge to splurge. We can keep a budget and stick to it, we can stop using credit cards so often, we can avoid going into debt. It may seem worth the great deals and awesome toys, but no amount of stocking stuffers or gifts under the tree can replace merry celebration with loved ones.